Text: H.Res.713 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (07/15/2004)

[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 713 Engrossed in House (EH)]

                 In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

                                                         July 15, 2004.
Whereas the Israeli people have suffered through a three-year campaign of terror 
        that has included suicide bombings, snipers, and other attacks on homes, 
        businesses, and places of worship and has resulted in the murder of more 
        than 1,000 innocent people since September 2000;
Whereas more than 50 United States citizens have been killed and more than 80 
        United States citizens injured by Palestinian terrorists in Israel, the 
        West Bank, and Gaza since 1993;
Whereas President George W. Bush said in October 2003 regarding Israel's right 
        to self-defense that ``Israel must not feel constrained in terms of 
        defending the homeland'';
Whereas international law, as expressly recognized in Article 51 of the United 
        Nations Charter, guarantees all nations an inherent right to self-
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), relating to 
        international cooperation to combat threats to international peace and 
        security caused by terrorist acts, and statements by representatives of 
        other countries at that time, make clear that Article 51 of the United 
        Nations Charter applies to self-defense against actions by terrorist 
        groups against the civilian population of any country;
Whereas a security barrier, capable of being modified or removed, is being 
        constructed by Israel in response to an ongoing campaign of terror 
        against its people and has resulted in a dramatic decline in the number 
        of successful terrorist attacks;
Whereas on December 8, 2003, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, 
        through a plurality rather than a majority vote of member nations, 
        Resolution ES-10/14 which requested the International Court of Justice 
        (ICJ) to render an opinion on the legality of the security barrier;
Whereas the United States, Australia, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, the Czech 
        Republic, the Federated States of Micronesia, France, Germany, Greece, 
        Ireland (for itself and in addition on behalf of the Member States and 
        Acceding States of the European Union), Italy, Japan, the Marshall 
        Islands, the Netherlands, Norway, Palau, the Russian Federation, Spain, 
        Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom submitted objections on 
        various grounds against the ICJ hearing the case or expressing concerns 
        about the advisability of the publication of an advisory judgment;
Whereas a June 30, 2004, decision of a panel of the Israeli Supreme Court, 
        headed by its President and sitting as a High Court of Justice, called 
        on the Government of Israel to take Palestinian humanitarian concerns 
        further into account in the construction of the barrier, even if doing 
        so resulted in greater security risk to Israeli citizens, and 
        accordingly required the Government to alter the route of a specific 
        portion of the barrier near Jerusalem in order to accommodate 
        Palestinian humanitarian concerns;
Whereas the Government of Israel immediately stated that it would respect the 
        decision of its High Court of Justice and has taken action to implement 
        that decision;
Whereas the Government of Israel has expressed its commitment that the security 
        barrier is temporary in nature and will not prejudice any final status 
        issues, including final borders;
Whereas on July 9, 2004, the ICJ said in a non-unanimous, non-binding advisory 
        judgment that Israel's security barrier, to the degree it was built 
        outside the pre-June 1967 borders, was illegal and should be dismantled, 
        and that Article 51 of the United Nations Charter did not apply to 
        Israeli actions in self-defense with respect to violence emanating from 
        the West Bank;
Whereas on July 11, 2004, less than two days after the ICJ's advisory judgment, 
        Israeli civilians were murdered by Palestinian terrorists;
Whereas the Palestinians, along with other parties and states, may attempt to 
        use the ICJ's advisory judgment to advance their positions on issues 
        committed to negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians by 
        advancing resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly, the 
        Security Council, or elsewhere calling for the removal of the barrier 
        and for the imposition of sanctions to force Israel to comply with the 
        advisory judgment; and
Whereas the administration of President Bush has reiterated its position that 
        the ICJ should not have agreed to decide a political issue of this 
        nature that should, rather, be resolved through the Roadmap process 
        leading to a negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinians: 
        Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) reaffirms its steadfast commitment to the security of Israel and 
        its strong support of Israel's inherent right to self-defense;
            (2) condemns the Palestinian leadership for failing to carry out its 
        responsibilities under the Roadmap and under other obligations it has 
        assumed, to engage in a sustained fight against terrorism, to dismantle 
        the terrorist infrastructure, and to bring an end to terrorist attacks 
        directed at Israel;
            (3) calls on Palestinians and all states, in the region and beyond, 
        to join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist 
        organizations so that progress can be made toward a peaceful resolution 
        of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
            (4) deplores--
                    (A) the misuse of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) 
                by a plurality of member nations of the United Nations General 
                Assembly for the narrow political purpose of advancing the 
                Palestinian position on matters Palestinian authorities have 
                said should be the subject of negotiations between the parties; 
                    (B) the July 9, 2004 advisory judgment of the ICJ, which 
                seeks to infringe upon Israel's right to self-defense, including 
                under Article 51;
            (5) regrets the ICJ's advisory judgment, which is likely to 
        undermine its reputation and interfere with a resolution of the 
        Palestinian-Israeli conflict;
            (6) commends the President and the Secretary of State for their 
        leadership in marshaling opposition to the misuse of the ICJ in this 
            (7) calls on members of the international community to reflect 
        soberly on--
                    (A) the steps taken by the Government of Israel to mitigate 
                the impact of the security barrier on Palestinians, including 
                steps it has taken by order of its High Court of Justice, 
                without being required to do so by the ICJ; and
                    (B) the damage that will be done to the ICJ, to the United 
                Nations, and to individual Israelis and Palestinians, by actions 
                taken under color of the ICJ's advisory judgment that interfere 
                in the Roadmap process and impede efforts to achieve progress 
                toward a negotiated settlement between Israelis and 
                Palestinians; and
            (8) urges all nations to join the United States in international 
        fora to prevent the exploitation of the ICJ's advisory judgment for 
        political purposes.