UN Vote on Fence Delayed Until Today

NEW YORK - The United Nations General Assembly vote on the separation fence scheduled for yesterday was postponed because of difficulty that Arab representatives had in securing European support. The resolution will likely be brought for a vote today.

The delay was requested by the Dutch ambassador, who has been negotiating on behalf of the European Union with Palestinian observer Nasser al-Kidwa.

The resolution calls for the adoption of the recent advisory ruling of the International Court of Justice, which declared that the separation fence is illegal and called on Israel to compensate Palestinians whose land was confiscated. The Europeans say that the Palestinian draft resolution would try to make the operative parts of the advisory opinion into a binding legal resolution. They are particularly opposed to a paragraph that calls for a UN list of Palestinian properties that have been affected by the fence.

Justice Minister Yosef Lapid warned yesterday that Israel is on the verge of becoming an international pariah, and urged the government not to ignore international bodies.

"If we don't respect human rights in the territories, we'll be putting ourselves in the situation in which South Africa found itself," he said.