International group confronts Israel over occupation of Palestinian lands | EUROtoday

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In a first-of-its-kind case, the U.N.’s high courtroom is weighing the character of Israel’s management over the occupied Palestinian territories. Public hearings started Monday on the International Court of Justice in The Hague because the tribunal seeks to place ahead its opinion on the legality of Israeli insurance policies within the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and occupied East Jerusalem since 1967 after Israeli forces captured these areas within the aftermath of a battle with its Arab neighbors. The deliberations are the results of a 2022 decision handed within the U.N. General Assembly in search of the courtroom’s intervention on the matter.

More than 50 nations are collaborating within the proceedings, which is able to run via this week. On Tuesday, 10 nations have been within the docket with their shows — and all, together with the Netherlands and Belgium, largely condemned the underlying insurance policies of Israeli occupation and settlement that result in what myriad rights teams allege is systemic racial discrimination and apartheid. Millions of Palestinians within the West Bank dwell with out the identical political and civil rights as their Israeli neighbors, whereas Gaza has weathered years of financial blockade.

Representatives from South Africa — which is behind a separate ICJ case alleging that Israel is violating the Genocide Convention because it prosecutes its battle towards Hamas in Gaza after the militant group’s Oct. 7 strike on Israel — stated the Jewish state was working towards an much more “extreme” type of apartheid than what was endured for many years in South Africa and referred to as on the courtroom to supply a ruling that pressures Israel into making political concessions to the Palestinians.

“A clear legal characterization of the nature of Israel’s regime over the Palestinian people can only assist in remedying the ongoing delay and achieving a just settlement,” Vusimuzi Madonsela, South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands, instructed the judges.

Saudi Arabia’s consultant insisted that “there can be no serious debate that Israeli policies and practices also amount to racial discrimination and are tantamount to apartheid, in grave violation of the Palestinian people’s human rights.” And a dignitary from Djibouti stated a long time of Israeli occupation within the West Bank had the “effect of systematically discriminating against the Palestinian population — in favor of the Jewish population living in settlements.”

As Israel corners Rafah, Netanyahu defies the world

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, was moved to tears Feb. 19 in the course of the ICJ’s listening to on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. (Video: Reuters)

The day earlier than, the Palestinian delegation laid out its claims. “The Palestinians have endured colonialism and apartheid,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki stated. “There are those who are enraged by these words. They should be enraged by the reality we are suffering.”

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, choked again tears whereas urging the courtroom “to guide the international community in upholding international law, ending injustice and achieving a just and lasting peace” and towards “a future in which Palestinian children are treated as children, not as a demographic threat.”

The United States is anticipated to mount a protection of Israel in The Hague on Wednesday. Israel itself just isn’t attending these hearings, in contrast to the separate case concerning genocide and the Gaza battle. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement on social media that it does not recognize the hearing’s legitimacy, calling it an infringement on ‘Israel’s right to defend itself against existential threats,’” my colleagues famous.

In the approaching months, the courtroom will challenge a nonbinding opinion which will have solely minimal authorized influence. At the top of the final month, the ICJ issued “provisional measures” calling on Israel to restrain its offensive in Gaza, which has killed at the very least 29,000 Palestinians, flattened Gaza’s civilian infrastructure and displaced the majority of the enclave’s inhabitants. But that ruling seems to have carried out little to rein in Israel, which remains to be getting ready for an assault on the southern Gazan border metropolis of Rafah the place greater than 1,000,000 Gazan refugees are camped out in determined situations.

U.S., Arab nations plan for postwar Gaza, timeline for Palestinian state

South African ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela on Feb. 20 urged the International Court of Justice to seek out Israel’s occupation unlawful. (Video: Reuters)

Across the pond, officers on the U.N.’s high decision-making physique as soon as extra did not discover a manner ahead. The United States vetoed an Algerian-led Security Council decision calling for a direct cease-fire in Gaza and the discharge of all hostages in Hamas captivity. The Biden administration discovered itself alone within the vote, with 13 nations, together with allies akin to France and Japan, voting in favor of the decision and Britain abstaining.

“A vote in favor of this draft resolution is support to the Palestinians’ right to life,” Algeria’s U.N. Ambassador Amar Bendjama stated earlier than the vote. “Conversely, voting against it implies an endorsement of the brutal violence and collective punishment inflicted upon them.”

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield described the decision as “wishful and irresponsible” in a press release and floated a watered-down proposal calling for a “temporary” truce extra instantly linked to the discharge of all hostages. Netanyahu, in the meantime, dug in his heels: “We are committed to continuing the war until we achieve all of its goals,” he stated. “There is no pressure, none, that can change this.”

What’s additionally not altering is the rising world notion that Israel is at odds with the worldwide system and reliant on the United States to protect it from additional censure. Israeli officers have been incensed by U.N. Secretary General António Guterres’s declare final 12 months that the Hamas assault on Oct. 7 didn’t happen in a “vacuum” — an commentary which Israel argued was justifying Hamas terrorism.

But this week’s proceedings in The Hague dig into what Guterres was invoking, reckoning with greater than a half century of deeper, tragic context. The present drumbeat of maximum rhetoric from Netanyahu’s political allies to the correct — together with rejections of any discuss of Palestinian statehood or equal political rights, calls to hold out de facto ethnic cleaning in Gaza and even denials of the existence of the Palestinian individuals — affords a reminder of the parallel dialog going down inside Israel.

“Successive Israeli governments have given the Palestinian people only three options: displacement, subjugation or death,” Maliki, the Palestinian envoy, instructed the judges. “But our people are here to stay, they have a right to live in freedom and dignity in their ancestral land. They will not forsake their rights.”


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/02/21/israel-occupation-palestine-gaza-un-icj-hearing/