With the International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, due to deliver its judgment on the legality of the barrier on 9 July, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom on Friday said external involvement was unacceptable.

"We believe that Israel can deal with this issue by itself," Shalom said.

"We can't accept any external involvement from the International Court of Justice.

"We don’t believe it is the place that this issue should be discussed. It should be discussed between the two parties –the Israelis and the Palestinians - with other members that are involved in the peace process," he said.

Israeli design

Israel is building a slew of fences and walls across the West Bank to fortify itself but in the process cutting off thousands of Palestinians from their farms, schools and cities.

"We can't accept any external involvement from the International Court of Justice"

Silvan Shalom
Israeli Foreign Minister

Palestinians say Israel's construction of the barrier is a land grab aimed at thwarting the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

Valuable Palestinian agricultural lands have either been seized or demolished by Israeli occupation soldiers to make room for the wall's route.

The World Court says it would hand down an "advisory opinion". Such a ruling is not binding, but Israel fears the UN General Assembly, where pro-Palestinian sentiment is strong, could use it to lobby for sanctions against it.

Shalom said he was asking the US to do "everything it can" to block any resolution on the barrier that the Palestinians might bring to the UN Security Council.