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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 July, 2004, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Sharon's barrier vow: Your views
A section of the Israeli wall

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has vowed to continue construction of the Israeli barrier despite the World Court ruling that it is illegal and should be dismantled.

Mr Sharon said the 9 July ruling was "one-sided and politically motivated" and linked Sunday's bombing in Tel Aviv, in which an Israeli soldier died, to the ruling.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague spent five months considering the issue of the barrier at the request of the UN General Assembly.

ASK MIDDLE EAST ANALYST
Professor George Joffe answered your questions in an interactive forum.

Israel insists the barrier was needed to keep out West Bank militants, but the Palestinians consider it a land grab.

Do you agree with Mr Sharon's decision to keep building the barrier? Is it a necessary security measure or should it be pulled down? Send us your comments.

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.


Your comments:

Make walls not war could be the slogan of a new era
Sharon, Wendover

If the wall prevents terrorism and violence then it will have achieved more than generations of politicians and diplomats. Make walls not war could be the slogan of a new era.
Sharon, Wendover, England

Everyone here is pretending that the Palestinians have played no role in their fate. If they stop killing innocent Israelis through terrorism, Israel will take a different approach to the Palestinians.
David, Philadelphia, USA

It must be pulled down now else it will be another reason for fight between two sides in future.
Sangam Dhruva, USA

Why hasn't the court ruled suicide bombings to be illegal?
Tod, Anaheim, Ca, USA

The court's decision should be respected for its authenticity, integrity, openness and lack of bias and prejudicial motives. The wall is unnecessary even if legal, which it obviously is not. More importantly, Israel must respect world opinion and dictates of reason, common sense, and even good politics. Unnecessary confrontational and unreasonable attitude, bordering on paranoia, is already sapping Israel's economy, goodwill and above all, its security. American support and protection cannot be the cause of survival.
M Idrees Husain, Karachi, Pakistan

I don't like the idea of a barrier but Israel is taking this action because the Palestinians are doing nothing at all to stop the militants.
Amir, Ewing, USA

But no amount of negotiation or compromise can ever return the lives and limbs of innocents
Jo, Elk Grove, USA
Negotiation and compromise can always tear down walls, dismantle settlements, and re-convey land. But no amount of negotiation or compromise can ever return the lives and limbs of innocents taken so brutally by terrorist bombers.
Jo, Elk Grove, USA

A law is only a law if it can be enforced - and we all know the willingness of the international community to enforce its "laws." If the Palestinians would stop bombing and start talking, perhaps the need for a wall wouldn't be so great.
Mitch, Chicago, IL

Israel's barrier should be removed forthwith. It is a gross violation of common sense, not to mention legitimate Palestinian sovereignty, and will only serve to fuel the very activities it purportedly seeks to curtail. Israel's best security strategy is to make peace, not build barriers to it. A "security wall", like "military intelligence", is an oxymoron - a fact proved daily by the American failure in Iraq. A nation, regardless of how powerful it might be, cannot protect itself by pretending that a conflict can be resolved though anything other than a sincere and continuous effort to make peace. Common sense suggests that the wall must go in order for peace to come. For the sake of peace, and in memory of the generations of innocent people on both sides who've lost their lives to this ceaseless conflict, take the wall down!
Jay, Toronto, Canada

Israel has captured the West Bank and Gaza as a result of wars of self-defence
Darren, Glasgow
I am bemused by all this talk about the "land grab". Israel has captured the West Bank and Gaza as a result of wars of self-defence against the surrounding Arab states that started them. The West Bank, in particular, was taken from Trans-Jordan, a country that now longer exists. Israel is under no obligation to return this land or to offer it for a "Palestinian state". The status of this land is "disputed", not "occupied", and should (not *must*) be negotiated between Israel and the Arabs, as was called for by the original UN resolution. Israel is only required to maintain the demographic composition of the land it has acquired, which it does (we are still to hear of mass deportations of Palestinian Arabs). So Israel is perfectly justified in building the fence along the route it's chosen, as negotiations on the land's final status have clearly fallen through, and the country is still officially at war with its neighbours (except Jordan).
Darren, Glasgow

Whilst the Arab countries occupy virtually the entire Arabian Peninsula, Israel is only nine miles wide from West Bank to the Mediterranean Sea and to hear an Israeli mother describe how her three-year old daughter, strapped into her car seat had her fingers burnt off and was almost burnt to death by a Molotov cocktail thrown into her car by Arab terrorists at close range has convinced me of the absolute necessity of the wall.
Myer Green, Glasgow, Scotland

Saying that the Israeli wall is causing Palestinian 'hardship' is akin to saying chemotherapy causes cancer. It is Palestinian terror that is causing the hardships.
Kurt, Chicago, IL., USA

Israel has been breaking International Laws for ages with the support of the US: the invasion of Lebanon, the occupation of Palestine and the misery of the Palestinians people, the "hidden" nuclear power that we all know about... just to name a few.
Nami Umali, Montreal, Canada

Respect for the world court decision is the necessary prerequisite for a just world order
MA Qavi, UK

Respect for the world court decision is the necessary prerequisite for a just world order. To cherry pick, in a manner of speaking, a decision that suits one while rejecting one that goes against one's interest will only exacerbate the state of chaos that prevails in the region.
MA Qavi, UK

Is this a portent of the future? A world back to walled states or cities, with a few great gatehouses to control entry, probably with a drawbridge! Work for great castle designers!
James, London, England

This wall is a childish attempt to keep out people Israelis don't like. It will be as effective as the sign on a child's clubhouse reading "no girls allowed." When compared with countries like Moldova, who genuinely need the UN's help, Israel is just wasting the international community's time.
Michelle, Fairbanks, AK, USA

It's a great pity that the wall was not built many years ago when the Intifada started. Perhaps my wife and her mother wouldn't have been injured in a suicide bombing. Two people died and 22 others were injured. We have had too many killings and many Israelis, both Arabs and Jews have been killed and wounded in murderous terrorist killings. The wall has and is serving its purpose: reducing this senseless murder of our citizens.

As much as we need to get out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank, our priority has always been and will always remain the protection and security of Israeli citizens, wherever they may be; Israel and elsewhere. At least this barrier prevents the loss of human lives on both sides of the wall. It seems that it will take the Palestinians a few generations until they mature to the point of laying down their arms and suicide bombs, and begin 'doing ' peace, and not merely talking it. We are tired and fed up . Without partners there won't be peace. Just a barrier.
Allen , Ra'anana, Israel

I don't think the wall will achieve the Israel's stated aims, however, it will succeed in dividing the two communities and increasing (if this is possible) the animosity between the two.
Aftaab, Vancouver, Canada

The wall will fall in the end, just like the Berlin Wall. People will win over politics.
Jon, London

The court decision is immaterial unless it can be enforced by the UN
Vish, Wellington, New Zealand
The court decision is immaterial unless it can be enforced by the UN. So long as the US blindly vetoes any security council resolutions it perceives as anti-Israel, there will be no progress towards peace. I read from the many comments by Americans and Israelis their innate arrogance and rejection of a multi-lateral system.
Vish, Wellington, New Zealand

I disagree with the ruling. Israel is a country that has had to fight for its very existence from day one. I am sorry for the innocent Palestinians caught in this violence and uncertainty but they have a homeland : it is presently called Jordan (not a democracy) but was part of Palestine less than 100 years ago. Arab nations are very good at shifting the date-line to suit their purpose.
Philip O'Donnell, Auckland, New Zealand

Sharon seems to have total disrespect and contempt for the World Court. He is only able to act this way because he expects the US to veto any UN Security Council resolution against Israel (i.e. sanctions) The US should grow-up and realise what sort of world it is creating with such irresponsible action.
Peter, London, UK

The fact is that suicide attacks have been reduced significantly. Whether or not the wall is illegal (exactly which so called international law is being broken, and who exactly passed this law?) and whether it is on Israeli land or Arab land doesn't change the fact that lives have been saved. However, even this is objectionable to some people.
Mike, Manchester, UK

We are still talking about how to fix problems between the Palestinians and Israelis and have come no closer than we were fifty years ago . No matter what it is a fence, a ditch or worlds apart, until the Palestinians decide there's another way other than destructive measures, there will always be war and terror. They can keep up the distrust and hatred but it seems to not be working for them.
Michael , US

Every time Israel finds an effective measure to defend its citizens, some organization, not to speak of Arab governments, find fault in the idea of Jews defending their own lives.
Zvi Horovitz, Ontario, Canada

It is illegal first of all but actually it is a real crime against humanity to steal others land in this way. How can any body talk about legality of this offensive action in front of the world and how can we respect ourselves if we allow Sharon to do what ever he likes every day against Palestinians with the support of Bush?
AQ Mustafa, Doha, Qatar

What a disgrace and what hypocrisy on us Western democracies who support such behaviour
Oscar Lima, Athens, Greece
The wall is technically a military device, under military supervision. The Israeli colonies in the West Bank are there technically for "military purposes". Tell me of another country that uses its civilian population for military purposes, sends them to occupied land as human shields and then complains that they are coming under attack and exploits the fact to build a "separation" wall and other "facts on the ground". What a disgrace and what hypocrisy on us Western democracies who support such behaviour. I think we will witness the day when a US president will tell the Palestinians that it is "unrealistic" for them to demand water, food and jobs (freedom has already been sacrificed according to Bush) and that they'd better die accepting "the facts in front of them".
Oscar Lima, Athens, Greece

A wall is a wall. It is divisive in its' nature. Something the Israelis are used to. They will not respect the ruling, even if it comes from their Big Brother.
Jamil, Singapore

The barrier is being constructed on land which does not belong to the Israeli government. This ploy is an easy way for Israel to gain control of more land which they claim to be 'holy'. It has to be taken into consideration that three religions stem from this land, not just Judaism. Building a wall which also helps the Israeli government to perform land grabbing is such a cheeky and sneaky way of doing this. Where's American interference in this?
Aisha, London, UK

If the UN will do nothing to protect Israel from the terror war against it, how can it presume to determine the nature and route of the barrier built to prevent that very terrorism?
Joel Koppenhoefer, Chicago, USA

The fence is for self defence
Stan, Expat
Article 51 of UN charter allows for self defence. The fence is for self defence - to keep out suicide bombers, the kind of people who'd use their own children as weapons. The fence is necessary until Arafat stops his terrorist campaigns.
Stan, Expat

Maybe Israel does need some sort of barrier but what right do they have of building it so that it encroaches on Palestinian territory? Why can't they build it along the actual border like people do when putting up a fence to separate their yard from their neighbour? Israel has to stop being a bully but of course with US backing they can get away with anything and they know it
D Corbett, Canada

One thing that people have not noticed about the ICJ judgement is that it declared that Israel had no right to defend itself against relentless Palestinian attacks on civilians on the grounds that the Palestinians are stateless, and international law only allows self defence against a state. This is absurd, and shows that if the ICJ is international law, then international law must be torn down, not the fence.
Sebastian, Oxford, England

The ruling was not one sided because the world court has learnt from recent past that apartheid is a human rights concern and that the world ought to exercise association of people no matter the political atmosphere. And in regards to Sunday's bombing, I don't think the ruling motivated it, the bombers may have planned it even before the ruling because of the conflict's history.
David Lulasa, Nairobi, Kenya

I, an Israeli, am ashamed!
Corinne Appleton, Hertzliah

Israelis talk utter rubbish when we blame the rest of the world for our own failures. I did not come to Israel 50 years ago to live in a Jewish ghetto! The barrier has been erected in such a manner that we integrate Palestinian land and property within our borders. I, an Israeli, am ashamed!
Corinne Appleton, Hertzliah, Israel

Repeated deadly terror attacks are something not even seriously considered by the UN ICJ and its ironic that the world court's decision is read out by the Court's President who is from China - a nation illegally occupying a neighbouring country Tibet since 1950... also virtually every country that voted to take jurisdiction, on the fence, is a tyranny!
Marion Hitchcott, Liverpool, England

The ICJ is categorical in its ruling that the wall is illegal under international law, particularly under the UN Charter, the Fourth Geneva Convention, human rights law, and under customary law. There is no question that Israel is bound by all of these international obligations. Even the lone dissenter, who incidentally comes from a country which has long flouted international law when such does not suit its purpose or political interests, concedes that segments of the wall are ipso facto in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The fact that the ruling is not legally binding does not detract from the categorical finding that Israel is in violation of its obligations under international law, and is thus obligated to cease and undo such violations. The only question that remains is whether the international community, particularly the US, can gather the political will to enforce such ruling.
Raymond Vincent G Sandoval, Quezon City, Philippines

The Israelis should have the basic human right to life and to build any defensive wall they want wherever it is best located to prevent terrorism.
Emil Petrescu, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Parts of East Jerusalem occupied then annexed. Golan Heights occupied then annexed. South Lebanon occupied and set for annexation but for the Lebanese fighting a guerrilla war against the IDF for 22 years and forcing them out. The route of the wall and Israel's short history demonstrate that it is interested in as much land grab as possible regardless of the human suffering this may cause to its neighbours and eventually itself.
Sammy Kudsi, Damascus, Syria

The Israelis need to do what they have to do to maintain security for their people
Stu Dorn, Virginia

Until there is an Arab leader willing to negotiate with the Israelis, the Israelis need to do what they have to do to maintain security for their people. Much like the fence being built by India to keep out Pakistani Muslim terrorists, the Israeli-built fence is needed to keep out terrorists. The fence is being built on Israeli land. The Arabs gave up their stake to that land when the Arab nations attacked Israel in 1948, thereby rejecting the UN partition. The war on terrorism should be renamed the war on radical Islam.
Stu Dorn, Virginia, USA

This is a great diplomatic damage to Israel. Now the Israel will try to rebuild, what they have built with the help of media.
Zulfi, India

Comparisons being drawn with the Berlin wall are very misguided. The Berlin wall separated ethnically similar people with common culture and religion. Israel's security wall separates ethnically and religiously different people that are intent on wiping one another off the face of the earth. I think the wall is the best thing that happened to that region in centuries. Even we save even a single life, then the construction of an entire fence is justified.
Michael, Sydney, Australia

The wall, even though, not best way to stop violence, will still be better options then constant attacks. UN is trying to give advice on what to do but as shown recently is not saying how to do it, how to best resolve the conflict. After the UN performance or lack of it with regards to Iraq it is not surprising that Israel is making their own decision and taking course of action. You cannot rely on anybody these days.
Marlene, Manchester, UK

Security comes second
Abbas Al-Lawati, Muscat

Whether this wall works or not is not the point here. The intention behind building this barrier should be considered. If it was truly for security reasons, it would have been built on the Green Line, instead of annexing large chunks of the West Bank. This is simply a land grab. Security comes second.
Abbas Al-Lawati, Muscat, Oman

The ICJ did not declare the building of a barrier to be inherently unlawful. It is the route that this wall follows which makes it illegal. The wall makes deep incursions into Palestinian land, over which Israel has no legitimate claim. It is also significant that the Court reaffirmed that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are in breach of international law. They were built in violation of a number of specific UN Security Council resolutions.
Patrick Cummins, Victoria, Canada

A lot of innocent young Israelis have been murdered by Palestinian suicide bombers while sitting on buses on their way to school, or eating in cafes with friends. Until the Palestinians decide to accept the reality of Israel and stop the murders I say keep the fence where it is, build it high and build it long. I wonder what the UN has done to stop the bombers?
Scott Mendelson, Roseburg, Oregon

At least the international court had the nerve for such a decision, but the enforcement of it will be difficult if not impossible.
Naveed, Derby, England

I would ignore the one-sided rulings of the ICJ, what with Jordanian and Egyptian lawyers on board, it was no-go from day one.
Esther Hallegua, The Hague, The Netherlands

The Israelis should build the wall on their own land but then again some will ask which land is theirs?
Kwabena Tawiah, Tema

In Jamaica, there is a saying that, everyday the bucket goes to the well, one day the bottom will drop out. What we are seeing today is the result of the world turning a blind eye. The Israelis should build the wall on their own land but then again some will ask which land is theirs? Uncle Sam, the ball is in your court. Will you be man enough to call a spade a spade?
Kwabena Tawiah, Tema, Ghana

Israel has the right to defend itself. Building of the barrier was the most noble decision. Land grab or not is a different issue. The wall should be completed without delay.
Dan Osotsi, Kenya

The Israeli's will continue to do as they please, as long as they believe that they have the US on their side.
Maurice, Birmingham, UK

Israel will do its best to protect its citizens, neither it will be a fence, wall, whatever you call it. What would you do if terrorists would be attacking you? And it would work? Dismantle it? Oh for god's sake! No
Niv, Istanbul, Turkey

I disagree with the wall but sadly it is a necessary evil to protect the citizens if Israel. If the Palestinians surrendered would be peace tomorrow? If Israel surrendered her arms there would be no more Israel tomorrow.
Gary, London, UK

Why is it we spend so much time fighting the effects and neglecting to fight their causes?
Danny Morelos, California, USA

The difference between the Berlin wall and the Israeli wall is simple. East and West Germany did not wish the complete annihilation of the other side. Palestinians and Israelis need to be kept apart until in another age they can reconcile their differences.
David Strait, Santa Barbara, USA

A wall is just a temporary solution... it never stands the test of time. I don't think either side is right, but I hate to see hi-tech warriors calling rock-throwing, bomb making warriors terrorists. Aren't they both terrorists?
Bluter, Durham, NC

Nobody disputes their right to self-defence


Andrew Houston, Washington DC
The Israelis and their supporters are trying to frame the issue in terms of their right to be able to defend themselves against terrorist attacks. Nobody disputes their right to self-defence. The issue at hand is that the wall is not on the border between Israel and the West Bank but dips deeply into Palestinian territory in many parts. Don't be confused by this red herring issue of right to self-defence; it's all about a land grab, pure and simple. Andy, Washington DC
Andrew Houston, Washington DC

Why the fuss? The wall is to lessen the need for Israeli checkpoints and curfews to prevent terrorist attacks on Israel proper. This will ultimately allow more freedom within the Palestinian territories.
Jacob, New York

I am extremely saddened to see Israel building a wall between itself and the Palestinians. With thousands of people killed by terrorists in the past several years however, I can understand why the Israelis are at their wits end. The one big, huge difference between this wall and the Berlin Wall is that it aims to keep terrorists out, while the Berlin Wall was an instrument of terror to keep people in.
Luke Daube, Raleigh, USA

The Israelis have the right to build any structure they choose, so long as it's on their own land.
Judy , Pitman, NJ USA

A wall never solved anything. It may contain a problem, but it is not a solution in itself. Israel is deluding itself if it thinks this has solved the problem of suicide bombers. In fact it is yet another injustice to the vast majority who are not terrorists but whose freedom is curtailed so that others can have theirs. It is simply a deeper division between the peoples of this sad land, and one which in time will reap an even more vicious harvest. God help us.
Ian, Croydon, UK

Israel will continue to play by its own rules.


Sean, Cincinnati, USA
The UN has the authority of a teacup. Their ruling will not affect whether or not the wall is dismantled or constructed. Israel will continue to play by its own rules.
Sean, Cincinnati, USA

The court exceeded its mandate in taking on this case and its decision does not have the force of law, its is non-binding. The decision is based on a set of assumptions about the final status of the land in question that has, by UN resolution, been consigned to a negotiated settlement between the parties. In making rendering this decision the W.C. has boot-strapped authority not granted to it to reach conclusions that ignore the resolutions of the body that created it. There is not now and never has been any "Palestinian Territory" other than that created by the Oslo Process, which was the embodiment of the negotiations that the UN has declared must solve this crisis.
Tom, Denver, Colorado, USA

The ICJ acknowledges Israel's right of self defence but then goes onto to condemn the least deadly way of preventing suicide bombers and other terrorists. Perhaps they would approve of more military incursions to root out the terrorists? If the threat is from within as the court expressed then logically the wall has to be within the territories to protect its citizens . Maybe the International community expects Israel should expose its citizens as sitting ducks to terrorism, as the best form of protection?
Dave, London

The ICJ has declared the wall illegal in it's entirety, the Israeli Supreme Court has declared the wall illegal in parts, how can there possibly be any doubt - clearly the wall is illegal. The reaction of the Israelis to the decision was predictable and demonstrates their supreme arrogance. What a pity the Palestinians are not in a position to build a wall deep inside Israeli territory to protect themselves against the rampaging IDF. Perhaps Israel needs to consider that what goes round comes round and big brother Bush will not be there forever.
Ed Wilcox, Malaga, Spain

Due to a lack of action in preventing the suicide bombers, the Palestinians are losing more land day-by-day. Four years ago at Camp David, they had a chance for all of the West Bank and Gaza, instead they chose war, and now that they are losing that war, they want back that same deal. They left Israel no choice but to act in its own interests. Time and time again, in the words of the late Abba Eban, "the Palestinians will never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity for peace."
Aaron, New York

In all the debate surrounding the 'wall', never is it mentioned that perhaps if the wall followed the course of the 'green line' there would be no debate, nor any question of the Israeli decision to construct the wall. At present, the wall must be removed. It is an obvious land grab attempt- another scam creating another set of facts on the ground.
Brian, Madison WI, USA

There needs to be some give and take on both sides
David, Brooklyn, USA
As much as it makes me uncomfortable, I think the concept of a barrier might just be the only solution for both sides to have peace. What also troubles me is the application of the barrier such that it might be grabbing land that rightfully should belong to the Palestinians. There needs to be some give and take on both sides maybe as to how draw the line for the wall. I am not a fan of this sort of forced separation, but it might be the only way to finally end the killing on both sides.
David, Brooklyn, USA

Israel does have the right to defend itself against terrorism but it should also consider as to why it needs defending. Build the wall in your own land and stop giving reasons for more violence.
Kashif, London, UK

Forget the question of legality. Apartheid anyone?
M K, TN, USA

The court decision is an important one that reiterates international law. We live in dangerous times however, and the US and its allies are clearly with Israel, as well as in Iraq, picking and choosing which international obligations to observe. We must all do whatever we can to support this decision, and help stop the slide into lawlessness and the loss of moral authority.
Clive Morris, Lancing, UK

Walls only reinforce division and injustice
Nick Fraser, Jordan
Israel should respect the opinion of the World Court. I lived in Berlin for a time - walls only reinforce division and injustice and don't solve the underlying problems they are mistakenly built to address.
Nick Fraser, Jordan

The answer depends not on Israel, Palestine or the UN. It depends only on what stand the Americans take. If America wants they can solve every problem in Palestine in a few minutes. But their leaders are interested in the votes of the American Jewish community than world peace
George, Leeds, UK

It is time we call it as we see it. The barrier is clearly causing the Palestinians a lot of hardship. It is time we stopped appeasing Israel and put our foot down. Both sides need to head back to serious negotiations and put an end to this problem.
Jay, Chicago, USA

What arrogance on the part of the world community! If the fence is part of a land grab then it is not about Israeli annexation but rather about Palestinian rejection of a two state solution in favour of a misguided belief that all of Israel will be theirs one day.
Michael Mittel, Atlanta

The Israeli government simply hides behind the American veto
Chris Hanley, Hong Kong
The wall is not merely a land grab, it is a water rights grab to be used as a bargaining chip in any future negotiations on a peace settlement. It is also a blight on the landscape likely to last a century. Israel is extremely unlikely to enforce the ruling - Israeli governments have repeatedly chosen to ignore international rulings in the past, the Israeli government simply hides behind the American veto. It is both sad and ironic that a people who sought for centuries to emerge from walled ghettos not of their own choosing should now willingly be creating one.
Chris Hanley, Hong Kong

Paradoxically, it is the effectiveness of the barrier that weakened Israeli arguments in its favour and made the court forget that hundreds of Israeli civilian lives are still more important than any land annexation! UN has proved one more time that it is incapable of unbiased decisions.
Alex, Haifa, Israel

Suicide bombers? Israel has killed 3 times more Palestinians. Will the wall protect them from missiles fired from helicopters in crowded markets?
TP, London, UK

This decision by the International Court of Justice will matter little to Israel. Israel will do what Israel wants regardless of world opinion. It has consistently ignored world opinion and more importantly, United Nations resolutions for decades. What does this ruling mean then - nothing. Israel's actions are simply those of a rogue state in many ways, deeds over the years have shown this to be the case.
Andrew, Australia

When has any wall in recent history prevented anything other than misery for one side or another?
Peter Strudwick, UK
When has any wall in recent history prevented anything other than misery for one side or another? This wall however is divisive both in the physical sense and the moral one as well. It only a minority of people in the region who want it. Then again Israel will do want she wants anyway, regardless of world opinion.
Peter Strudwick, UK

This fence is an absolutely necessary security measure. I understand that since the erection of one quarter of the wall alone, suicide bombings have gone down by 86%. Proof enough that it works.
J D Norman, London, England

Has the court ruled whether suicide bombing is illegal? Or does it not want to consider the root cause of the issue?
John, London, UK

As long as there are guns, suicidal maniacs and dithering politicians, there will be walls. And if that wall is helping keep the peace and save lives so be it.
Ashvin, Galesburg, Illinois

What the UN has always had a problem with is taking a proactive approach to preventing terror and rather making excuses to others why they shouldn't be doing this or that. The real issue lies in the fact the UN has failed to do ANYTHING about stopping the Palestinian terrorism, which only serves to destroy the hopes and dreams of the average Palestinian citizen.
Jason, Toronto Canada

If the wall is for protection it will work just as well inside Israel's own orders
Julie Lowe, Sheffield
When will we hear a Palestinian analyst? Israel never respects International Law and is unlikely to do so now. Whereas everyone wants the Israelis to be safe it cannot be at the expense of Palestinian people. If the wall is for protection it will work just as well inside Israel's own orders.
Julie Lowe, Sheffield

To think this wall is about security is a joke. It is a pure and simple land grab and establishing irreversible facts on the ground. Shame on the US for supporting such an inhumane policy. For without US support Israel can never get away with such an act.
Ahmad, Nice, France

This took five months? Five minutes should have been sufficient.
Chris, Bournemouth, UK

The fact is that the Israeli policy is working. Suicide bombings inside Israel have been reduced dramatically. It is the primary responsibility of any government to look after the security of its people and this is all that Israel is doing.
Daniel, Manchester

The barrier is fine when built on the land of Israel but when it cuts communities and families off from each other it is barbaric and in-humane and we should all condemn this horrendous harassment and persecution of the Palestinian people.
Simon G, Surrey, England

This is just a land grab, pure and simple
Malcolm, England
I can understand the desire of Israel for security, but surely that would be best achieved by giving the occupied land back to the Palestinians and building the wall, if it was still needed, on the real, legal border. As it stands this is just a land grab, pure and simple, and will only lead to yet more violence. This is a matter that concerns the whole world and as such it is time the whole world imposed a settlement, with or without Israel's consent.
Malcolm, England

The Palestinians have suffered too long, The UN has to do something about the terrorism of Israel as it is a scar on democracy. How can we export democracy to the East like this?
Ian, Bristol, UK

If the court rules that the barrier is illegal, Israel would be expected to comply with the decision. What the world court might not have considered is that the decision limits Israel's options to more direct and confrontational actions in regard to terminating terrorist attacks and the threat of terrorist attacks against Israelis. Israel will be forced to intensify its use of the gun rather than the wall to effect its own defence.
John Holmes, Canada

Do we honestly think that Israel cares whether the wall is legal or not? As long as big brother is protecting them, they will do what they wish.
Chris, NY, USA

Who cares if the wall is legal or not? The law only matters to those who have access to it.
Andrew Witham, London UK

The UN should ensure that some positive action is taken
Dougie Lawson, Basingstoke, UK
What is the difference between the Israeli wall and the Berlin wall? No country should need to build a barrier like this. The UN should ensure that some positive action is taken to tear this thing down.
Dougie Lawson, Basingstoke, UK

Without the barrier, the two sides would find something else to fight about. There would actually be more peace if the world would just accept the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a permanent institution rather than a problem with a possible solution.
Collis, WV, USA

Israel should have the right to do what they feel is necessary to stop the suicide bombings!
Mary, Connecticut, USA

What opponents of the wall forget is that preventing suicide bombers can have an important positive impact on the lives of Palestinians - no terror means no Israeli retaliatory action. The old adage that good fences make good neighbours is conveniently ignored by opponents of Israel. However, I agree that the route of the wall is wrong, but it should be allowed to exist until a peace settlement is achieved. This can only be done in an atmosphere of security and absence of terror.
D Brookes, London

The only answer is to achieve a fair and equitable permanent settlement
Phil, Lewes
This barrier may achieve a short-term reduction in the number of killings taking place, but in the long-term more people will suffer because the current political set-up is unsustainable. The only answer is to achieve a fair and equitable permanent settlement that recognises the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians. Sadly, there are extremists in both camps who would rather die than sacrifice their so-called principles, so I can't see it happening.
Phil, Lewes

The barrier may be illegal but it is a fact that since its erection, there's hardly been ANY suicide bombings inside the Israeli territory. Better to be deemed "illegal" and to be actually saving lives. Israelis have been feeling much safe since the barrier so if that is what it takes to save lives then let it "illegal".
Tatiana, London, UK

Even if it was illegal I doubt whether that would be the end of the story. To Israel it's regarded as security, to Palestine, it's a red rag to a bull. The barrier doesn't act to keep Israelis secure, it simply dares Palestinians to defy it. Where's the security in that? It may or may not be legal but it's not helping matters, is it?
Fraser Irving, Sheffield, UK

The wall is needed to prevent suicide bombers from entering Israel. It also will allow the Israeli army to withdraw allowing Palestinians to get on with their lives.
Matthew Freedman, London UK

I have seen this 8 metre high wall where it runs across the Bethany road just outside Jerusalem. It separates Israeli citizens from their work, schools and hospitals. Why can't Israel have a security point to allow people to pass after suitable checks? If you separate people from work, health and schooling, this has got to be against their human rights.
Matthew Clements, Rotherhithe, London, UK

If Israelis feels they need a wall then let them build it on their own soil.
Rachel, Sussex, UK

The barrier as a structure is surely not illegal but I would have thought that its location must be. The law of trespass surely can't be limited to being a UK concept.
Bill Tucker, Portsmouth, England

I think the legality or illegality of the Israeli barrier is unimportant, the real question is does it achieve a worthwhile aim? If it can reduce the level of violence for a sufficiently long time that trust returns enabling peace dialogue then all the good. If the needless attacks continue and the cycle of violence doesn't end it was a waste of time and energy. The Palestinian Israeli conflict has gone on for too long and been too bitter for any law to solve the issues.
Jim, UK




Israel and the Palestinians

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Palestinian women sit on a roof top of the home of a Palestinian family in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on 20 November 2006. Human shields
Palestinians adopt a new tactic to deter Israeli attacks, but this is a high-risk strategy

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SEE ALSO:
Building 'walls of their prison'
03 Jul 04  |  Middle East


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