U.S., European countries to boycott ICJ fence hearings
By News Agencies
The United States and most European countries will not appear at the International Court of Justice to press their arguments on the legality of the Israeli barrier in the Palestinian territories, a diplomat said Wednesday.
Thirteen countries, along with The Palestinian Authority, Arab League and Organization of Islamic States will participate when the UN court convenes on Monday to hear oral arguments, the diplomat told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The number was far fewer than the 44 UN member countries that submitted written briefs of their position to the court.
The countries scheduled to speak before the 15 judges are Jordan, Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Cuba, Belize, South Africa, Madagascar, Senegal, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia, the diplomat said.
Britain's Foreign Office said it had lodged a written submission with the court on January 30 but would not be making an oral statement next week. Britain has condemned the building of the fence on occupied Palestinian land but believes it is inappropriate for the court to examine the legality of the barrier "without the consent of both parties."
"It is our view that the building of a fence on occupied Palestinian land is unlawful but that it is not appropriate for the court to take action without the consent of both parties," said a spokeswoman, on customary condition of anonymity.
Court spokesman Boris Heim declined to comment on the list. An announcement was due to be released later Wednesday, he said.