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  1. ITV Report

It's been 15 years since Israel's West Bank wall was declared illegal, so here are 15 key moments since 2004

Part of the wall between Israel and Palestine, which has caused much conflict. Credit: AP

It's been 15 years since the International Court of Justice said Israel's building of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory was illegal - demanding the construction stop immediately and the state pay reparations to those affected.

A decade and a half on from the request, delivered on 9 July 2004, the wall is still standing.

It is more than 700km long (440 miles), is as tall as 8 metres (26ft) in places, 3 metres thick (10ft) and sometimes cuts 18 miles into land Palestinians call home.

The wall has been the focal point for flashpoints throughout its construction, so here are 15 key moments in the Arab-Israeli conflict to occur since Israel rejected the court ruling in The Hague as irrelevant.

  • July 2004 - Israel rejects call to stop wall building
Palestinians climb a wall built by Israel during a protest in 2009. Credit: AP

The United Nations' court said the construction by Israel of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory broke international law.

It ordered the work to cease, stating cost reimbursed for any damage caused.

It recommended the UN should should consider what steps to take "to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion".

But Israel ignored the ruling and continued to build the wall.

  • September 2005 - Jewish settlers pulled from Gaza

Israel began removing Jewish settlers and military personnel from Gaza - but retained control of border crossing, sea and air territories.

As part of the removal, 8,500 people were relocated. Four settlements were also demolished in the West Bank.

  • Summer 2006 - Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit seized by Hamas

In June, Hamas operatives took an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, hostage.

In return for his safe repatriation, they demand the release of Palestinian kept behind bars by Israeli authorities.

The hostage-taking sparks major clashes in Gaza, with Israel on one side and Hamas on the other.

The clashes continued throughout the next three months, eventually spiraling into the Second Lebanon War which lasted from July to August.

Gilad Shalit was held by Palestinian forces for five years. Credit: AP
  • November 2007 - US stages peace talks

Negotiations held in the United States aimed to bring together parties on both sides of the fighting to engage in peace talks.

The Annapolis Conference aimed to lay down the foundations of a "two-state solution" to the conflict.

The initiative would mean that separate territories would be created for Palestinians and Israelis - but there is much dispute over the outline for these borders.

But it's an idea that had been mooted before - and failed to reach a solid agreement.

President George W Bush looks on as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands at the Annapolis Conference. Credit: AP
  • December 2008 - Israel military action targets Gaza

Israel began a month-long bombardment on Gaza to prevent groups, including Hamas, launching rocket attacks.

Official figures for fatalities vary, but it is thought more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the conflict.

In comparison, 13 Israelis lost their lives - four of whom were from friendly fire.

The conflict ended in a unilateral ceasefire the following month.

  • February 2009 - Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party forms new coalition government in Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party is tasked with forming a new coalition government following elections.

He becomes Israel's prime minister for a second time - 10 years after his first stint ended.

Netanyahu would go on to be elected to office three consecutive times, remaining in the position to this day.

His right-wing party, Likud, will guide the future of the conflict through the next decade.

He later expressed backing for the idea of a two-state system as discussed at the Annapolis Conference in 2007.

Benjamin Netanyahu is elected Israeli PM for the second time. Credit: AP
  • September 2010 - fresh, but ultimately fruitless, talks begin

More talks are bill-boarded between Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

But the talks fall apart after a halt on settlement building in the West Bank expired after 10 months.

The situation escalates as Palestinian supporters begin a campaign of attacks against Israeli targets in the West Bank.

  • October 2011 - Gilad Shalit released in prisoner swap

Hamas released the Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, it had held captive since 2006.

His freedom came under the condition 1,027 prisoners were released by Israel, in a deal brokered by Egypt and Germany.

Shalit was reportedly the first Israeli solider held captive to be later released alive in more than quarter of a century.

Yehiye Sinwar, a founder of Hamas' military wing, was one of an initial 477 prisoners freed by Israel in exchange of Gilad Shilat. Credit: AP
  • July 2013 - John Kerry tries to restart peace process

US Secretary of State John Kerry attempts to kick-start peace talks in Washington.

But they immediately ran into trouble as Hamas rejected the legitimacy of President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate on behalf of Palestine.

A broad deadline of 29 April 2014 was set to reach some kind of deal but it came and went without significant progress.

  • June 2014 - Fatah/Hamas unity government in Palestine

President Abbas' Fatah movement agrees to a unity government with Hamas but within weeks the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers sparked retaliatory raids by Israel.

In July, Operation Protective Edge was launched by Israel resulting in thousands of Palestinian deaths.

The campaign also focuses on tunnels used to attack Israeli interests.

In August, the fighting ends after Egypt steps in to broker a ceasefire.

Israeli soldiers work on their tanks at a gathering area near Israel Gaza Border. Credit: AP
  • October 2016 - fresh wave of violence erupts

An Israeli couple are killed as they travel in a car in the West Bank.

The shooting triggers a wave of violence perpetuated by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians.

The spike in incidents includes shootings, stabbings and using cars to hit objects.

  • December 2016 - UN Security Council wades in on Israeli settlements

Israel halts ties with 12 nations which backed a UN Security Council agreement to speak out on settlements built by Israel.

Controversially, the USA had a veto on the vote but instead abstained from taking part.

The nations include: Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand.

Other backers include Venezuela and Malaysia - both of whom have no working relationships with the Middle East state.

Israeli soldiers stand guard at Gush Etzion junction near a cluster of settlements in the West Bank. Credit: AP
  • December 2017 - Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

President Donald Trump says the United States now recognises Jerusalem as the capital city of the Israel, moving the country's mission there.

The recognition causes a rift between powers in both the Middle East and among the US' western allies and sparks rioting in the West Bank.

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot during clashes following protests against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Credit: AP
  • July - November 2018 - a new ceasefire

A surge in violence between Hamas and Israel, which started in March, leads to the United Nations and Egypt attempting to broker a deal between the two sides to engage a ceasefire.

The deal is agreed - but seemingly unilaterally.

There was no comment from Israel on the ceasefire, but it did abide by it.

  • April 2019 - Netanyahu elected PM for a fourth (and short) time

Benjamin Netanyahu succeeds in gaining a fourth term in office, his third consecutive.

But, facing bribery and corruption charges dating to February, he struggles to form a coalition, and his Likud party forces through a bill to dissolve the Knesset, meaning the country will go to the polls for a second time in 2019.

That is scheduled for September this year.