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Infographic: Where the law stands on Israel’s separation barrier

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In June 2002, the Israeli cabinet approved the construction of a “continuous fence” in the West Bank. In July 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared this barrier illegal, choosing to refer to it as a “wall”.

The infographic “Where Law Stands on the Wall” describes the detail of ICJ’s decision. Today, 9 years on, and despite wide condemnation, little has been done by the international community to hold the Israeli government accountable for its ongoing disregard of international law.

You can view the full graphic here.

Visualizing Palestine wants to produce more interactive, farther reaching visuals in 2014 covering key injustices facing Palestinians today. To do so they’re crowdfunding until 8 November. The campaign has been backed by hundreds of people around the world, but its success relies on your support. Visit the campaign site here.

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Visualizing Palestine

Visualizing Palestine is the intersection of communication, social sciences, technology, design and urban studies for social justice. Visualizing Palestine uses creative visuals to describe a factual rights-based narrative of Palestine/Israel. To learn more visit

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6 Responses

  1. pabelmont on October 31, 2013, 1:43 pm

    Can we hope that this graphic will follow the 4-piece maps of the shrinking Palestine on Boston’s, San Francisco’s, and other transit advertising. IMO its really neat and emphasizes international law viscerally.

  2. Walid on November 1, 2013, 1:06 am

    It’s regrettable that the ICJ issued simply an advisory opinion on the legality of the wall and the recommendation that it be followed up by the UNGA and UNSC. Since it was only an opinion with nothing binding about it and in light of it going nowhere and anywhere in the UNSC because of the US automatic veto on Israel-related issues, Israel didn’t give it a second thought. One has to wonder why the UNGA requested the opinion in the first place. It’s been almost 10 years since the opinion was issued, but Israel continues on its merry way of thievery without a care about what the world thinks.

  3. Eva Smagacz on November 1, 2013, 8:52 am

    Walid, this is what Hostage said on 14/07/13 about this very issue :

    “While a moral victory, the ICJ issued no more than an advisory opinion as it has no jurisdiction in the case.”

    Correction: Certain advisory opinions are legally binding. That includes any dispute over the interpretation of an international agreement that contains a compromissory clause granting the ICJ jurisdiction. The General Assembly request for the Advisory Opinion cited UN GA resolution 181(II) as one of the relevant UN resolutions and asked what are the legal consequences flowing from the applicable international laws, treaties, and UN resolutions?

    Resolution 181(II) does contain a) an international agreement which placed human rights in Palestine under UN guarantees; and b) granted the ICJ compulsory jurisdiction to settle any disputes, unless the parties agreed to some other method.

    The UN considers the minority rights declarations it has obtained after WWII to be legally binding agreements that are still in force. Resolution 181(II) was cataloged in 1950 as part of a survey of legal instruments containing minority protection treaties E/CN.4/367, Date: 7 April 1950 (see Chapter III The United Nations Charter And The Treaties Concluded After The War, resolution 181(II) of 29 November 1947, “The Future Government of Palestine”, pages 22-23).

    The Advisory Opinion was also endorsed by an Emergency special Session of the General Assembly convened under the auspices of a “Uniting for Peace” resolution. So it’s legally binding on all UN organs and officials.

    • Walid on November 1, 2013, 11:25 am

      Eva, even if an opinion becomes binding under a General Assembly technicality such as the minority rights declaration you mentioned, the only way it could become militarily enforceable is via the Security Council that’s at the mercy of the American veto riding shotgun for Israel. Adding insult to injury, even if an anti-Israel resolution clears the UNSC hurdle, another UNSC resolution is required to actually send in the 7 th Cavalry (Hostage would call it Chapter VII) to militarily enforce the initial resolution and the US would veto that one rendering the initial resolution irrelevant. We saw that with U.N. Security Council Resolution 425 that was issued five days after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon on March 14, 1978, ordering Israel out of Lebanon which the US actually voted to have passed. Because of the US, that UNSC toothless resolution remained unheeded by Israel. which 4 years later resulted in its second invasion of Lebanon that took it all the way into Beirut. Despite UNSC Res 425 Israel continued occupying 20% of Lebanon for the following 22 years until Hizbullah succeeded in kicking it out.

      All this to say that UNGA or UNSC cannot force Israel to do anything against its will simply because of the awfully big stick that the US holds to protect Israel’s interests. And since this despicable wall is built with US’ blessings, nothing will ever remove it except the passage of time when the Palestinians would again be masters in their Palestine and they would remove it themselves. It may not come in my lifetime, but it surely will.

  4. seafoid on November 1, 2013, 12:59 pm

    I didn’t realize that Ramzi Jaber was one of the driving forces behind these infographics. They are fantastic.

    • Walid on November 1, 2013, 1:17 pm

      Thanks, seafoid, great to read a bit about Ramzi’s history and work in Irish Times.

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