Arab states on Monday sought an emergency session of the U.N. General Assembly to demand that Israel comply with a World Court ruling that its West Bank security barrier is illegal and must be dismantled.
According to Reuters, the Arab Group of governments at the United Nations called on the 191-nation assembly to meet on Friday to take up a draft resolution seeking to implement last week's ruling by the International Court of Justice, the Palestinian U.N. observer, Nasser al-Kidwa, told reporters.
The court, based in The Hague, issued an "advisory opinion" last Friday that the planned 370-mile barrier violates international law by cutting deep into West Bank land occupied and dotted with settlements by Israel since the 1967 Middle East War.
UPI cites Israeli officials, who say that the barrier is protection from Palestinian terror attacks, and that if there were no attacks, there would be no reason to erect the barrier. And they put forward figures to back up their claim. A paper distributed by Israel's foreign ministry last Friday points out that Israel "was forced to build the fence because of Palestinian terror attacks which have killed nearly 1,000 Israelis over the last 3Ѕ years."
The head of the Shabak (Shin Bet) security service, Avi Dichter, told the Israeli cabinet Sunday that suicide bombing attacks accounted for only 0.7 percent of the Palestinian attacks but caused 70 percent of the casualties. Almost all of them were inside Israel proper.
The Foreign Ministry noted that in that area, before the barrier was built, there were some 26 successful Palestinian attacks a year. Since the barrier was built, the number has dropped to three. On average, 103 people were killed every year in attacks across the northern West Bank boundary line before the barrier rose. There were 28 since then.