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Annan forwards World Court ruling on Israeli wall to UN General Assembly

9 July 2004 After the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued today its advisory opinion on the Israeli-built wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan forwarded the decision to the UN General Assembly, which had requested the Court's advice on the legality of the barrier.

The Hague-based ICJ said on Friday that the construction of the wall was "contrary to international law" and that Israel was "under an obligation to cease the works of construction" and to "dismantle forthwith" the structure situated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.

In a statement issued in Bangkok, where the Secretary-General is attending a meeting on AIDS, a UN spokesman said Mr. Annan received the opinion from the Court and had forwarded it to the General Assembly, "which will determine how to proceed on this matter."

In its opinion, the ICJ - the principal judicial organ of the UN - also said the General Assembly and the Security Council should consider what steps are necessary "to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall."

Last December, the General Assembly adopted a resolution during an emergency special session asking the ICJ to urgently render its opinion on "the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in occupied Palestinian territory."

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