Yumna Patel writes in Mondoweiss:
Tuesday July 9th marked the fifteenth anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision to declare the Israeli separation wall in occupied Palestinian territory as illegal under international law.
Israel began construction of the separation wall, known by many as the Israeli “Apartheid Wall”, in 2002 in the middle of the Second Intifada. Israeli officials said the wall was a necessary “security precaution against terrorism” from Palestinian attackers coming from the West Bank.
But with the construction of the wall, came unprecedented demolitions of Palestinians homes along the planned route, massive land confiscations, and the division of dozens of Palestinian communities along the Green Line.
In 2004 the ICJ issued a non-binding advisory opinion that Israel should immediately stop construction on the wall, and should pay reparations for any damage caused.
While the court recognized that Israel was facing acts of violence against its civilians, it said that the Israeli government was violating its responsibilities under international law as the occupying power of the Palestinian territory.
After one year of inaction by Israeli authorities following the ICJ decision, Palestinian activists launched the now infamous Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, known as the BDS Call, on July 9, 2005.
In an interview with the Guardian last year, Ingrid Jaradat, one of the founding members of BDS, said “If there had been action on the part of the international community to implement the ICJ ruling, there wouldn’t have been a BDS call.”
Fifteen years on, despite the court’s ruling and widespread international criticism of the wall, and it continues to be built across the West Bank, tearing communities apart and separating Palestinians from their land.