February 24, 2004

US rallies behind Israel over World Court:

"Israel has consistently rejected the court's competence to issue an advisory opinion after a request by the UN's General Assembly in December.

An ICJ ruling 'would without doubt upset the balance of the roadmap and make any meaningful resumption of negotiations more difficult to achieve,' Israel said in its written submission to the court made public on Monday.

Washington has criticized the route of the barrier, but at the same time consistently argued that it is inappropriate for the court to rule on the issue.

Washington insists the Middle East 'roadmap' for a political settlement is the only legitimate framework for discussion."

According to Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat: 'This expansion wall, annexation wall, apartheid wall has turned our villages into jails and collective prisons.'


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