Bombed bus centerpiece of fence-hearing protest

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jerusalem (jps) | Some 927 Jewish students from Israel and abroad will represent all the victims of Palestinian terror attacks since September 2000 when they demonstrate outside the International Court of Justice in The Hague next week while arguments are being heard against the security fence.

The aim of Israel’s program is to “make the Palestinians regret the day they ever sent the matter to the court,” Israel’s Public Affairs Minister Gideon Meir said.

Each of the 927 demonstrators will hold a placard detailing the identity of a terror victim and his life story.

The shell of the Jerusalem bus No. 19 that was blown apart by a suicide bomber last month, killing 11 people, was being prepared Tuesday, Feb. 17, for shipping to The Hague as part of Israel’s public relations effort.

The court authorities have designated separate days for Israeli and Palestinian demonstrations in order to avoid friction. The Israeli group expects to have Tuesday, Feb. 24, for its demonstration and possibly another day.

According to Meir, Israel’s sole message at the demonstrations is that the “fence stops terror.” Israel has submitted written arguments to the court, but decided against taking part in the oral arguments, against the advice of Justice Minister Yosef Lapid.

In its written arguments, Israel claimed that the court does not have the authority to consider the matter. The court has been asked by the United Nations General Assembly to issue an advisory opinion on the legality of the security fence that is being constructed in the West Bank.

A delegation of parliamentary assistants from political parties on the left and right is also being dispatched to The Hague to handle the media. A number of families of terror victims are also to be included in the delegation of demonstrators.

Another group, called the Civil Coalition, has organized flights to The Hague for $240 a person. Shahar Ervin said that about 50 people are to take part in the group’s mission to protest the “unilateral decision of the U.N. to discuss the fence.”