News: In a recent letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) expressed its opposition to the separation wall Israel is building along its border with the West Bank. The CEIRPP was established in 1975 by the General Assembly, as part of the extensive “Palestinian infrastructure” at the UN.
Analysis: The CEIRPP condemned the “unilateral separation scheme” in which “Palestinian homes are being demolished,” as an act that “is bound to exacerbate tensions on the ground and heighten resentment among the Palestinian population.” Additionally, the CEIRPP protested that the wall “is also creating artificial boundaries that predetermine the outcome of future permanent status negotiations between the two sides.” The Committee condemned Israel for confiscating land, for causing a “major disruption of the economic activity,” and for restricting “the freedom of movement of
Palestinians.” The CEIRPP referred to the last point as a “clear violation of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 1995.”
Invoking the Oslo Accords and “final status” talks is an unintentional irony by the CEIRPP. Both the agreements and negotiations were violently repudiated by the Palestinian Authority in September 2000. Had the Palestinian Authority fulfilled its obligations concerning the fight against terror, the confiscation of illegal weapons, and abstention from incitement, there would not now be any need to build the separation wall as a defensive measure against suicide bombers and other terrorists.
That the wall is being built with the purpose of preventing, or at least minimizing, the literally thousands of terror attacks the Palestinians have launched against Israeli citizens is hardly taken into account by the CEIRPP. “Israeli Government officials claim the wall would protect Jewish worshippers visiting Rachel’s Tomb [in Bethlehem]” is the only recognition by the CEIRPP that the wall is connected to Israeli security concerns.
Since the beginning of the Intifada over 250 suicide-bombers were stopped en route to commit their atrocities, but 70 others carried out their attacks. Proponents of the separation wall think that it will help to prevent additional attacks. Opponents disagree that it will enhance security. Only the CEIRPP ignores the possibility that lives could be saved, while condemning land confiscation. Nor does the CEIRPP mention the fact that Israel will seize only 80 square kilometers of land to build the wall, according to figures cited by Palestinian cartographer Khalil Tofakji. That figure represents 1.4% of the West Bank, close to what was under discussion at Camp David II in terms of Israeli annexation.
The CEIRPP, it should be recalled, was against the Camp David peace agreement between Egypt and Israel decades ago. It seems determined to continue its radicalism.