At the International Court of Justice (ICJ), The Hague - Netherlands, from the 23rd to the 25th of February, there is a hearing as to the legality of the Apartheid wall being erected across Palestine [court schedule].The wall's construction - which has been criticised by the International Committee of the Red Cross - is widely seen as further land grabbing by the Israeli government, who couch its existence as a necessity for security in protection of the Israeli state.
State sponsored protests
On Monday the 23rd, Zionist groups are having a high profile demonstration in front of the ICJ. The local Israeli embassy has sponsored students and members of Zionist groups in support of the wall to protest outside the Court and has provided full colour pictures of bomb victims to 'Christians for Israel' who are carrying them on street protests. ZAKA, an Israeli 'rescue organisation', has brought to the Hague the two halves of a Jerusalem bus destroyed in a suicide bombing.
Anti-Apartheid Wall protests
25 anti-Wall protestors will be there to represent the concerns of the Palestinians along with the Palestinian Environmental NGO’s Network (PENGON) and other Palestinian solidarity groups, who have organised symposia, exhibits and protests around the time of the hearing. These groups will be bringing to The Hague Palestinians whose lives are affected by the Wall, including Sharif Omar (farmer from Jayyus), Fayez Tanib (farmer from Tulkarm) and Terri Balata (school administrator from Abu Dis separated from her school).
The Mayor of The Hague, Deetman, banned anti-Wall protesters from demonstrating in the morning, which will limit press awareness of the anti-Wall presence. The anti-Wall protestors will now march in the afternoon and hold a vigil outside the ICJ, remembering Palestinian victims of the Israeli occupation. Meanwhile, in Palestine, people are organising strikes, direct action and marches in support of the hearings in The Hague.
Israel's defensive wall
Police repression hits hard
Initially the Mayor of The Hague, Deetman, banned anti-Wall protesters from demonstration during the 23rd. After extensive negotiations with the local police, he has allowed only registered 25 protestors to be present in front of the court in the morning. This will limit press awareness of the anti-Wall presence, since journalists arrive at the court at 10 am and will not be allowed to move between the Court and outside because of security measures.
Instead of the planned demonstration, the anti-Wall protestors will now march in the afternoon and hold a vigil outside the ICJ, remembering Palestinian victims of the Israeli occupation.
The Mayor also tried to prohibit the use of pictures of Israeli bomb victims, accusing the Israeli embassy of interference in the demonstrations. He was prevented from doing so by a local court, that sympathised with his concerns but ruled free speech was more important.
23:00 - In Israel, there was a demonstration opposite Sharons home, while thousands of Palestinians also demonstrated throughout the Occuppied Territories.
20:00 - Pictures of the afternoons demonstration in The Hague.
15:30 - Report back on stop the Apartheid wall demo including the police repression [Dutch report - nl].
15:20 - Radio discussion from Santa Cruz with Ian Williams, UN correspondent for The Nation Magazine, about the ramifications of the legal challenge to the wall.
13:50 - First Pictures of this mornings protests in The Hague.
12:00 - A round up of corporate media links, headed by a Noam Chomsky article. Further press from the United States.
04:30 - The build up to the court case has already started, with demonstrations on both Friday and Saturday in Palestine. There were also solidarity vigils in Jordan on Saturday night.