In Pictures: Israel’s illegal separation wall still divides
Years after it was deemed illegal by a UN court, the wall continues to cut through and divide Palestinian communities.
Thursday marks the 16th anniversary since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) deemed Israel’s separation wall illegal.
In 2002, Israel started constructing the wall, slicing through Palestinian communities, agricultural fields, and farmland at the height of the second Intifada.
The wall has been described by Israeli officials as a necessary security precaution against “terrorism”.
Palestinians, however, have decried it as an Israeli mechanism to annex Palestinian territory as it is built deep within the West Bank and not along the 1967 Green Line, the generally recognised boundary between Israel and the West Bank.
While the ICJ’s decision is non-binding, it found the wall violates international law and called for its dismantlement. It also ruled Israel should pay reparations for any damage caused.
A month after the ICJ decision, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) voted overwhelmingly to demand Israel to comply with the UN’s highest legal body.
The vote called on UN member states “not to recognise the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem“, and “not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction”.