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Israel not in compliance with un demand

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Annan criticizes Israel for failing to comply with UN demand 2003-11-29 05:17:47

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Israel is not in compliance with a demand of the United Nations General Assembly to halt and take down a barrier on occupied Palestinian land, and the construction in present circumsta nces cannot be seen "as anything but a deeply counterproductive act," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report released Friday.

Annan cited the following evidence monitored by UN staff on the ground to support his conclusion: ongoing construction along the northeast boundary of the West Bank and Jerusalem; leveling of land; issuance of land requisition orders; release of the first official map showing the planned route and a declaration of intent to complete the barrier by 2005.

While recognizing Israel's "right and duty to protect its people against terrorist attacks" and noting that it began erecting the barrier after a sharp rise in Palestinian terror attacks in 2002, he said: "That duty should not be carried out in a way that is in contradiction of international law, that could damage the longer term prospects for peace by making the creation of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state more difficult, or that increases suffering among the Palestinian people."

Noting Israel's repeated statements that the barrier is a temporary security measure and does not represent a "political or other border," Annan stressed that its scope and the amount of occupied land being requisitioned or that will end up within the barrier are of serious concern and have implications for the future.

"In the midst of the roadmap process, when each party should bemaking good faith confidence-building, gestures, the barrier's construction in the West Bank cannot, in this regard, be seen as anything but a deeply counterproductive act," he emphasized.

According to the report, in some places the separation wall deviates more than 7.5 kilometers, and its planned route by up to 22 kilometers, from the pre-1967 war "green line" border to incorporate Israeli settlements while encircling Palestinian areas.

In such an eventuality, some 975 square kilometers, or 16.6 percent of the entire West bank, including the homes of some 220,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem and 17,000 elsewhere, would liebetween the barrier and the Green Line, while a further 160,000 would live in almost completely encircled enclaves.

In October, the General Assembly adopted in a special session aresolution calling on Israel to stop building the separation wall and demolish its existing parts. Enditem

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