The highest U.N. court ruled Friday that Israel's planned 425-mile-long barrier in the West Bank (search) violates international law and ordered Israel to pay reparations to Palestinians whose land had been seized.

The International Court of Justice (search) dismissed Israel's arguments that the barrier was essential for its security and said the system of walls and fences went too far in infringing the freedom of the Palestinians.

The decision by the world court was part of a lengthy and complex ruling read by court president Shi Jiuyong of China.

The court also ordered Israel to pay reparations to Palestinians harmed by the barrier and return land seized to construct the wall.