Anti-Apartheid Wall Media Office | 23.02.2004 14:07 | World
PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Dutch Coalition "Stop the Wall"
The Hague Febraury, 23, 2004 - The first oral hearing of the International Court of Justice has been started this morning.
The Palestinian Ant-Apartheid Wall campaign had organized a weekend of activities in The Hague preceding this event that puts, according to Jamal Juma', coordinator of the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, "not the illegality of the apartheid wall on trial but rather, the international law and, as its reference, the United Nations system".
In Palestine itself dozens of demonstrations in all major cities of the West Bank are taking place.
Inside the Court, the Judges were listening to the first of 16 speakers to give evidence on the Wall. Nasar al-Khidwa, Palestinian representative at the UN, was highlighting how the Wall is violating Human Rights and International Law destroying Palestinian lives and livelihoods and the possibility for an independent Palestinian state.
Israel itself is boycotting the Court but has spent great efforts trying to move away the attention from the illegality of the Wall and the desastrous effects this construction has on the Palestinian population and the violations of the most basic Human Rights. Outside the Court a few hundred supporters of the Apartheid Wall have demonstrated in favour of this project of annexation and expulsion. Low cost tickets for Israeli and zionist students from various countries in the world were offered to come here, a blown up bus that was flown in a spectacular move to The Hague. However, much less people than expected followed the appeals of Israeli and zionist organizations to come to The Hague.
The Palestinian and international civil society led by the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign asking for the implementation of International Law and the Fall of the Wall as the first step to end the ongoing illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories were not allowed to demonstrate this morning. The Dutch police relegated their demonstration to the afternoon. However, a delegation of 25 people carrying banners opposing the Bantustanization of Palestine and demanding the dismantling of the Wall and an end to the Occupation was present.
At 12am a press conference was held at the "Nieuwspoort" Press Center. Jamal Juma', coordinator of the Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign explained: "A de-legitimization of the wall implies a de-legitimization of the occupation. A fair trial and a just decision by the court will give us hope and push forward the struggle to end the occupation, to tear down the wall and have a free Palestine." Gretta Duisenberg, head of the Dutch organization "Stop the Bezetting", called as expression of international civil society on the European Union "to take a very strong stand point against Israeli politics and the US supporting it."
Sharif Omar, one of the affected Palestinian farmers, was expressing his hope "that the international community would support our right to have an independent state and to end the occupation by taking up our demand tear down the wall."
- Henri van de Vall, 06-21887402
- Anti-Apartheid Wall Media Center, 070-3614000