Text: S.Res.408 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/20/2004)

 
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. Res. 408 Introduced in Senate (IS)]






108th CONGRESS
  2d Session
S. RES. 408

 Supporting the construction by Israel of a security fence to prevent 
     Palestinian terrorist attacks, condemning the decision of the 
 International Court of Justice on the legality of the security fence, 
and urging no further action by the United Nations to delay or prevent 
                the construction of the security fence.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 20, 2004

   Mr. Smith (for himself, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Bond, Mr. Bunning, Mr. 
  Chambliss, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Coleman, Ms. Collins, Mr. Corzine, Mr. 
   Crapo, Mrs. Dole, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Lugar, Mrs. 
   Murray, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Wyden, Mr. DeWine, Ms. Mikulski, and Mr. 
 Allard) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the 
                     Committee on Foreign Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
 Supporting the construction by Israel of a security fence to prevent 
     Palestinian terrorist attacks, condemning the decision of the 
 International Court of Justice on the legality of the security fence, 
and urging no further action by the United Nations to delay or prevent 
                the construction of the security fence.

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly requested the International Court of 
        Justice to render an opinion on the legality of the security fence being 
        constructed by Israel to prevent Palestinian terrorists from entering 
        Israel;
Whereas on February 23, 2004, the International Court of Justice commenced 
        hearings on the legality of the security fence;
Whereas on July 9, 2004, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory 
        opinion that was critical of the legality of the security fence and that 
        accused Israel of violating its international obligations;
Whereas the security fence is a necessary and proportional response to the 
        campaign of terrorism by Palestinian militants;
Whereas throughout Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, terrorist groups have sent 
        suicide bombers to murder Israeli civilians in buses, cafes, and places 
        of worship, have used snipers to shoot at Israeli civilians in their 
        homes and vehicles and even in baby carriages, and have invaded homes 
        and seminaries in order to carry out acts of terrorism;
Whereas Palestinian terrorists routinely disguise themselves as civilians, 
        including as pregnant women, hide bombs in ambulances, feign injuries, 
        and sequence bombs to kill rescue workers responding to an initial 
        attack;
Whereas a security fence has existed in Gaza since 1996 and that fence has 
        proved effective at reducing the number of terrorist attacks and 
        prevented many residents of Gaza from crossing into Israel to carry out 
        terrorist attacks;
Whereas from the onset of the Palestinian campaign of terror against Israel in 
        September 2000, until the start of the construction of the fence in July 
        2003, Palestinian terrorists based out of the northern West Bank carried 
        out 73 attacks in which 293 Israeli were killed and 1,950 were wounded, 
        and during the period since construction began, from August 2003 through 
        June 2004, only 3 attacks were successfully executed, 2 of which were 
        executed by terrorists coming from areas where the fence was not yet 
        completed;
Whereas this reduction in number of attacks represents a 90 percent decline 
        since construction of the security fence commenced;
Whereas on June 30, 2004, Israel's High Court of Justice issued a dramatic 
        ruling that supported the need for the security fence to fight terror, 
        but ruled that its route must take into account Palestinian humanitarian 
        concerns, thus reinforcing the central role that the rule of law plays 
        in Israeli society;
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (November 22, 1967) and 
        United Nations Security Council Resolution 338 (October 22, 1973) 
        require negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 
        including the demarcation of final borders and recognition of the right 
        of Israel to ``secure and recognized boundaries'';
Whereas according to international law and as expressly recognized in Article 51 
        of the Charter of the United Nations, all countries possess an inherent 
        right to self-defense;
Whereas the security fence and associated checkpoints are crucial to detecting 
        and deterring terrorists among the Palestinian civilian population;
Whereas there is concern that the International Court of Justice is politicized 
        and critical of Israel;
Whereas construction of the security fence does not constitute annexation of 
        disputed territory because the security fence is a temporary measure and 
        does not extend the sovereignty of Israel;
Whereas the security fence is permitted under the Declaration of Principles on 
        Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed at Washington September 13, 
        1993, between Israel and the P.L.O. (hereinafter referred to as the 
        ``Oslo Accord'') in which Israel retained the right to provide for 
        security, including the security of Israeli settlers;
Whereas the case regarding the legality of the security fence in the 
        International Court of Justice violates the principles of the Oslo 
        Accord that require that all disputes between the parties be settled by 
        direct negotiations or by agreed-upon methods; and
Whereas the United States, Korea, and India have constructed security fences to 
        separate such countries from territories or other countries for the 
        security of their citizens: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the Senate--
            (1) recognizes Israel's right of self-defense against 
        Palestinian terrorist attacks, and supports the construction of 
        a security fence, the route of which, with the support of the 
        Government of Israel, takes into account the need to minimize 
        the confiscation of Palestinian land and the imposition of 
        hardships on the Palestinian people;
            (2) condemns the decision of the International Court of 
        Justice on the legality of the security fence; and
            (3) urges the United States to vote against any further 
        United Nations action that could delay or prevent the 
        construction of the security fence and to engage in a 
        diplomatic campaign to persuade other countries to do the same.
                                 <all>