Palestinians want an end to Israeli occupation in the World Court

THE HAGUE: In an effort to promote a two-state solution and enduring peace, Palestinian leaders requested justices at the UN’s top court on Monday to declare Israel’s occupation of their land unlawful.
The petitions were made at the start of a hearing week at The Hague’s International Court of Justice (ICJ).

In 2022, the UN General Assembly requested a non-binding, consultative opinion about the occupation. Arguments will be made by more than 50 states until February 26.

The Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riad Mansour, broke down in tears and declared, “We call on you to confirm that Israel’s presence in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal.”
“A finding from this distinguished court… would contribute to bringing (occupation) to an immediate end, paving a way to a just and lasting peace,” he said. “A future in which there are no deaths of Israelis or Palestinians. A future when two nations coexist peacefully and securely side by side.”

The most recent wave of bloodshed in Gaza, which was sparked by Hamas’s strikes on Israel on October 7, has exacerbated long-standing frustrations across the Middle East and harmed attempts to find a peaceful solution.

The ICJ’s fifteen-member panel was tasked with “occupation, settlement, and annexation, including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem and the adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”
Although Israel is not present at the proceedings, it provided a five-page written submission that was made public by the court on Monday, stating that the questions the UN General Assembly presented for an advisory opinion were biased and would be “harmful” to efforts to resolve the dispute.
It is anticipated that the judges would take around half a year to respond to the request, which also asks them to evaluate the implications of the occupation’s legal standing.

Following a 1967 conflict, Israel developed and expanded settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, capturing the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and other parts of ancient Palestine that the Palestinians wanted for their own state.
For a long time, Israeli officials have denied that the territories are officially occupied, arguing that they were taken during a conflict between Jordan and Egypt rather than from an independent Palestine.

Since 1967, the UN has referred to the areas as being occupied by Israel and has called for the withdrawal of Israeli soldiers, claiming that this is the only way to ensure peace. But the occupation was not expressly declared unlawful in its 1967 decision.
Although Israel has historically disregarded legal advice, this one may heighten political pressure about the conflict in Gaza, which has claimed the lives of around 29,000 Palestinians since Hamas launched an onslaught on the country on October 7.
Although it left Gaza in 2005, it still maintains border control with Egypt, its neighbor. In a move that most nations do not recognize, it has also annexed East Jerusalem.
“The imperative of morality, politics, and law”

The hearing is a component of Palestinian attempts to have international courts look at Israel’s actions. According to Israeli counts, they have increased since Israel launched a war on Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas assault, which claimed 1,200 lives.

Israel claims that Hamas terrorists and other organizations pose an existential danger to it, and it is defending itself.
Concerns about an Israeli ground invasion against Rafah, the last destination for over a million Palestinians who fled to the south of the enclave to escape Israeli attacks, are growing.

The International Court of Justice, or World Court, has been requested by the UN General Assembly for an advisory opinion on the occupied Palestinian territories twice recently.
Although it remains in place today, the court said in July 2004 that Israel’s separation wall in the West Bank breached international law and had to be taken down.

Related Articles

Back to top button