Germany opposes path of Israeli wall

4th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

4 February 2004 , BERLIN - Germany opposes the route taken by the wall Israel says it is building to protect against terrorist attacks - not the barrier itself, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Wednesday. Fischer said after talks with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Tommy Lapid that it was the right of a government to take measures deemed necessary to protect its citizens. But Fischer stressed that the walls and fences being built by Israel should run along the border of Israel and

4 February 2004

BERLIN - Germany opposes the route taken by the wall Israel says it is building to protect against terrorist attacks - not the barrier itself, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Wednesday.

Fischer said after talks with Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Tommy Lapid that it was the right of a government to take measures deemed necessary to protect its citizens.

But Fischer stressed that the walls and fences being built by Israel should run along the border of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

"Our criticism is of the route taken," said Fischer.

The more than 650-kilometre wall and security fence being built by Israel in some areas dips deep into Palestinian territory.

Lapid insisted the barrier was needed for security purposes.

"Every country in the world has the right to defend itself, he said, adding: "A fence is only a fence ... it doesn't shoot and kill."

Lapid also underlined that Israel rejected the right of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to rule on the wall's legality.

At least 44 nations have filed opinions to the court which is due to begin hearings on February 23.

The United States, the European Union, Russia and Australia have said the court should not rule on what they regard as a political issue.

Fischer welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to evacuate most Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip.

"This is a step in the right direction," Fischer said.

 DPA
Subject: German news

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