The Israeli government, in 2002, began the construction of a 700 km-long wall in the West Bank on the Palestinian side of the “Green Line”. Two years later, in its 2004 Advisory Opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague declared the construction of a wall within occupied Palestinian territory illegal. The Palestinians and many in the international community saw the Court’s opinion as a turning point in the protracted conflict. Today, over 14 years later, the result is sobering: Israel has neither desisted from the Wall, which is twice as high and four times as long as the Berlin Wall, nor made any reparations. On the contrary, the Wall is nearing completion and most States have made little effort to secure compliance, although under an obligation to do so.

With his newest documentary Broken, director Mohammed Alatar tries to understand how the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice could be so easily disregarded, without action. What does the failure to implement these high-level decisions mean for international (humanitarian) law and its relevance today? He talks with internationally renowned law experts, judges from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seasoned diplomats, and the Israeli military officer who, in 2002, commanded the construction of the Wall.

After the film we continue the discussion with the director of the film.

About the speakers

  • Mohammed Alater is currently one of the major documentary directors of Palestinian cinematography. He was trained as a filmmaker at the end of the 90’s in the USA. With a profound commitment to human rights and his people’s struggle, Mohammed Alatar defines himself more as a human rights activist than as a filmmaker. In 2006, Mohammed Alatar released The Iron Wall, a film about the establishment of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which also covers the controversial construction of the Israeli Wall in the West Bank. In 2008, Mohammed Alatar released ‘Jerusalem the East Side’, one of the most- viewed political documentaries in Palestine.
  • Carolin Alvermann is an international attorney-at-law and mediator. She focuses on the law of the United Nations and other international organizations as well as on human rights and also has large experience in international humanitarian law. She has extensively travelled the Middle East and acted as legal counsel in the making of BROKEN.