Court rules Israel's West Bank barrier is illegal

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The Independent Online

The International Court of Justice ruled today that the barrier Israel is building in the West Bank violates international law.

The court dismissed Israel's arguments that the barrier was essential for its security, and said the system of walls and fences went too far in infringing on the freedom of the Palestinians.

The decision by the world court was part of a lengthy and complex ruling read by court president Shi Jiuyong of China.

The court also ordered Israel to pay reparations to Palestinians harmed by the barrier and return land seized to construct the wall.

And it urged the UN Security Council to take action to stop construction of the barrier.