Fri 23 Feb 2024 3:12 pm - Jerusalem Time

Sharp criticism of Israel in the fifth day of the International Court hearings

Today, Friday, the hearings held by the International Court of Justice in The Hague continued to discuss the legal consequences arising from Israel’s policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories.

On the fifth day of the sessions, representatives of a number of countries deliberated on the platform, and the representative of the State of Qatar expressed his rejection of double standards, stressed that international law must be applied to everyone, and said that Israel has obstructed all peaceful solutions and continues to occupy the Palestinian territories and pursues and practices a policy of apartheid as a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.

The representative of the State of Qatar stressed that the basis of the Israeli project is settlement and the imposition of settlers on the occupied territories, and pointed out that Israel exploited the war in the Gaza Strip to cover settlement activities in Jerusalem and the West Bank, which are witnessing a situation no less bad than the situation in Gaza.

He explained that ending the apartheid regime requires creating a situation that gives the Palestinians their rights, and considered that the court is obligated to take into account all opinions that consider the Israeli occupation illegal.

For his part, the representative of the Sultanate of Oman said that the Israeli occupation is working to change the demographic composition in the occupied territories, and stressed that the world witnessed today one of the worst atrocities committed in the Gaza Strip.

The Omani official said that the Palestinians have been living under occupation, oppression and daily humiliation for 75 years, and demanded that Israel’s violation of the right to self-determination of the Palestinians be examined, and that all activities that prevent the Palestinians from exercising their right be put to an end.

In turn, the representative of Norway described the apartheid wall built by Israel as a violation of international law and makes the two-state solution difficult to achieve. He accused Israel of exploiting natural resources to perpetuate its occupation of Palestinian lands. He considered it illegal to annex any Palestinian lands or impose a fait accompli on the ground. He said that establishing settlements in Palestinian lands violates Article 416 of the Geneva Convention.

For her part, the representative of Indonesia stressed that no country can be granted the right to do what it desires in front of weak countries, and said that Israel avoids negotiations, avoids stopping settlement projects, and constantly obstructs peace negotiations and the two-state solution. Israeli governments also publicly express their rejection of the peace process and ignore calls Security Council to resolve the conflict peacefully.

The representative of Pakistan spoke about Israel imposing facts on the ground that are difficult to remove, and accused Israel of imposing discrimination against the Palestinian people since 1967, and restricting the freedom of Muslims and Christians to worship in Jerusalem.

He stressed that the two-state solution should be the basis for peace, and called for the cancellation of all changes resulting from the forceful annexation of territories.

Disrespect for the court

On the other hand, Michael Lynk, the former United Nations rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, said that Israel does not respect the International Court of Justice by not participating in the hearings.

Israel was among the countries that submitted written statements to the court by the deadline set on July 25, 2023, and decided not to participate in the oral hearings, according to information contained on the United Nations website.

Link told Anadolu that the participation of 55 countries and international organizations in the hearings at the International Court of Justice is “historic,” and he considered that the main reason behind Israel’s avoidance of participating in the hearings is that it does not have an answer to the accusations against it.

He added, "I think the biggest reason is that Israel knows that the arguments it is making about annexation (lands), preventing the right to self-determination, and systematic discrimination against the Palestinians will not work, and it does not have any concrete political and legal answers to that."

The International Court of Justice sessions will be held between February 19 and 26, during which 52 countries will make statements about the legal consequences of Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, along with the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the African Union.


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Sharp criticism of Israel in the fifth day of the International Court hearings