General Assembly starts emergency debate on Israeli barrier against Palestinians

The United Nations General Assembly today resumed a long-running emergency session, requested mainly by Arab representatives in reaction to a veto by the United States last week in the Security Council, on the separation barrier being built by Israel between itself and Palestinian territories.

A draft resolution proposed by the Arab Group sought to have the barrier declared illegal by the General Assembly, as it had asked the Security Council to do. A second draft text would ask the International Court of Justice in The Hague to issue an advisory opinion on whether Israel should cease construction of the barrier and to dismantle the existing parts.

Last week, the United States vetoed the draft resolution, explaining that it felt the text was one-sided, while Bulgaria, Cameroon, Germany and the United Kingdom abstained.

The Assembly suspended the meeting and will resume debate on the measures tomorrow.