The Wall in the West Bank is a combination of an eight meter high concrete wall and/or ditches, trenches, fences, razor wire, electronic fences and military roads. Israel began its construction for security reasons in 2002, after a wave of suicide attacks, and is still continuing the construction today .
The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice
The Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 9 July 2004 on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall inside the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) stated that the Wall built on West Bank land including East Jerusalem, is illegal. The ICJ was requested by the UN General Assembly to issue an advisory opinion and decided by 14 votes to 1 to comply with that request.
Read more about the ICJ Advisory Opinion
Israeli High Court of Justice Rulings
The Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) has given several principal rulings on the legality of the Wall. The first case was the Beit Surik ruling. The petition was filed by the local council of Beit Surik village against the government of Israel and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) military commander in the West Bank. On 30 June 2004, nine judges decided that the construction of a Wall on the West Bank land was not illegal per se. They claimed that the Wall, as a security measure, is legal even if built inside the West Bank since it is temporary in nature and since it was built for security reasons, and follows the requirement of military necessity according to IHL.
Read more about military necessity
To the full version of the Beit Surik Ruling
Read more about rulings from the Israeli High Court
Facts and figures
Most of the Wall is built inside the territory of the West Bank rather than on the Green Line, which is the de-facto internationally recognized border based on the Armistice Line of 1949.
The Wall in the Jerusalem area is also known as the “Jerusalem Envelope”.
The International Court of Justice in its advisory opinion on the Wall chose to use " the Wall" to describe the combined wall-barrier and this term therefore used also by Diakonia.
Read more – facts and figures