23 Feb Israel takes on the ICJ (Updated)
Israel’s State’s Attorney Office has issued a report rejecting the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion that Israel’s construction of a wall dividing Israelis and Palestinians violated international law. The opinion held that:
The ruling last year by the International Court of Justice on the separation fence between Israel and the Palestinians was based on erroneous and outdated information…
The Israeli State Attorney’s Office concluded that:
The lack of a factual infrastructure and the superficiality of the analysis constitute a substantial blow to the legal validity of the international court’s adamant findings and the legitimacy of its conclusions.
I don’t have the 170 page report (nor do I plan to read it, even if it is in English) but if there really are factual errors in the ICJ’s analysis, this is yet another reason the ICJ should have avoided issuing an advisory opinion here, where the facts (e.g. where the wall went and who owns which territories) are enormously important.
UPDATE: The factual mistake in the ICJ’s decision, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs sounds substantial.
According to the state prosecution, the judges assumed that the fence would annex 16 percent of the West Bank to Israel, whereas the actual fence route authorized by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz only includes 3.3 percent of the West Bank. Furthermore, the state argued, Mazuz’s approved route did not include three enclaves that would have pushed the fence deep into West Bank territory in the areas of the Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim, as well as around the Gush Etzion bloc, located south of Jerusalem.