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Security barrier "illegal"

Last updated: 2004-07-09

Israel fence

Israel fence

The International Court of Justice says the security barrier Israel is building on the occupied West Bank land is illegal.

The non-binding advisory ruling at the Hague in the Netherlands declared the barrier in violation of international law.

The court called for the barrier to be dismantled and compensation to be paid to Palestinians whose property has been confiscated for the barrier project.

Israel has already said it will not abide by the world court decision. Israel insists the barrier is necessary to prevent Palestinian militants from entering Israel to carry out terrorist attacks.

Palestinians call the fence a ploy to grab land.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia called the ruling a "historic decision." But Israel says it will not abide by the ruling because it contends the court has no jurisdiction over it and the decision fails to address the issue of Palestinian terrorism.

Story supplied by: VOAnews