Arbet, Daniel: Analysis of the International Court of Justice advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory


The reality of today’s Israel represents the unremitting threat of terrorist attacks of significant dimensions. We can argue about what impact do steps of Israeli government have on intensity of these attacks and on existence itself. This argument, however, would not provide an answer about how to deal with current threat which is causing considerable damage to Israel. The decision to begin the construction of the security wall which is (also) crossing occupied Palestinian territories can’t be described as the most appropriate in this context. Israeli reasoning defending the construction of the wall based on natural right of self-defense or military exigencies and requirements of national security against terrorist activities can’t be taken to regard, because any measures taken to protect its own citizens from numerous and deadly acts of violence have to be in compliance with international law (as we said before, this requirement is not met), while it is obvious, that in this case, given step acts in regard to the security situation of both sides contra-productively. On the one side, it could for the short-time period mitigate the intensity of attacks, but in log term perspective it raises Palestinian desperation, legitimate feeling of inequality and material shortage which together naturally have the potential for another massive escalation of terrorist activities. As Israeli essayist Amos Oz stated, we don’t have to decide to support Israel or Palestine. It is necessary to support the peace. Peace, however, is not just formal written declaration of status. Peace is a positive emotion, mutual respect and safe coexistence. If it’s possible to achieve the peace by presence of few meters high concrete wall and electric barbed wire, remains debatable.