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International Court of Justice begins deliberations in Israeli wall case

25 February 2004 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is starting deliberations on an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of an Israeli wall in the occupied Palestinian Territory after public hearings in the case concluded today.

The ICJ heard oral submissions from representatives of Palestine, South Africa, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Belize, Cuba, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Senegal, Sudan, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference during three days of hearings.

The ICJ's action follows a request from the UN General Assembly in December last year. During an emergency session on Palestine, the Assembly adopted a resolution asking for an urgently rendered opinion on "the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in an around East Jerusalem."

The principal judicial organ of the UN, the ICJ - which sits in The Hague, the Netherlands - was set up to hear disputes between States and to issue non-binding advisory opinions on the legality of certain matters.

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