PA denies decision not to submit barrier issue to UNSC prior to US elections
The Palestinian Authority has denied a decision it was purported to have taken regarding the international court's ruling over the legitimacy of the West Bank separation wall.
The International Court of Justice in its non-binding verdict considered the separation wall - built by Israel - as illegitimate and has recommended that it be demolished. The case was taken up in the International Court upon the UN’s request last December.
Palestinian minister Qadoura Faris spoke to Al Bawaba following a meeting of the Palestinian government and the National Security Council, headed by President Arafat. On the issue of the separation fence, he asserted "we did not take the decision not to submit the international court's verdict to the UN Security Council until after the US elections."
The French news agency – AFP - had earlier quoted Palestinian ministers that claimed the Palestinian Authority had taken such a decision.
Faris also added that things have to be carefully studied before any reaction is made reaffirming that any decision does not hinge on the timing of the US elections.
On the other hand, Minister Faris did not deny that this issue was ever discussed in the meeting; however he did assert “the only thing we agreed on is not to rush things and lose momentum after achieving such a victory in the international court of justice.”
Israeli radio quoting Israeli officials said that the US, which had used its veto in the Security Council last October against a decision that was supposed to prevent Israel from going ahead with the building of the separation wall, may use its veto a second time if the issue is raised again.
Faris explained that "the PA are going to form political and judicial committees to discuss the court's decision to come up with a clear vision of what the Palestinian reaction should be." "We are also going to ask Nasser Al-Qudwah (the Palestinian representative at the UN) to come to Palestine so his opinion can also be heard. We would also like to listen to our friends who had helped us with our case including the Arab countries and our friends in the European Union," Faris concluded.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)