International Court of Justice holds public hearings on Israel’s occupation of Palestine: Day 5

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RAMALLAH: For the fifth consecutive day, the International Court of Justice in The Hague continues its public hearings regarding the legal implications arising from Israel’s policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

The hearings come within the framework of the UN General Assembly’s request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of Israel’s prolonged occupation for over 57 years.

Namibia remembers painful colonial history which resembles that of Palestine

Addressing the ICJ, Namibia’s Justice Minister Yvonne Dausab demanded that the court recognizes Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories as illegal.

She made parallels between Palestine and Namibia that are ‘striking and painful’. Instead of exerting their right to govern themselves, she said, ‘Palestinians and Namibians suffered the loss of human dignity … and the outright theft of their land and natural resources’.

According to her, Namibia still s
uffers from the effects of a long and unlawful occupation. The ICJ ‘played a vital role in our liberation struggle’. In its 1971 opinion, Dausab added, the court confirmed the right to self-determination as a ‘legal imperative’, paving the way to Namibia’s independence in 1990.

She continued, ‘Because of Namibia’s experience with apartheid, we cannot look the other way in the face of the brutal atrocities committed against the Palestinian people. We ask the court not to look away either.’

Oman: International community failed to help Palestinians achieve their aspirations

The representative of the Sultanate of Oman stated that more than 75 years have passed, and the Palestinian people remain under Israeli occupation, facing injustice, the absence of justice, and massacres. He said the international community and world organizations have failed to assist them in achieving their aspirations and an independent state.

He stressed that the world has witnessed, for over four months, the worst atrocities and form
s of genocide, resulting in more than 29,000 Palestinians killed, over 60,000 injured, and the displacement of around two million citizens under unbearable conditions, all in violation of international standards.

The Omani envoy emphasized that the long-term occupation of Palestinian territory since 1967, including Jerusalem, aims at demographic and geographic changes for Palestine. He mentioned how Israel adopts legislative and discriminatory measures, affecting the legal status of the occupation.

He continued, ‘The Israeli occupation, the construction of settlements, and the theft of Palestinian land prolong the occupation in the Palestinian territories. Israel displaces Palestinians, imposes harsh displacement environments, seizes their lands, and practices arbitrary arrests and violence against them since 1967.’

Oman’s representative underscored that ‘the United Nations, its General Assembly, Security Council, and Human Rights Office have consistently condemned Israel’s attempts at demographic change i
n the occupied Palestinian territories. The international community is responsible for preventing and stopping illegal annexations and prohibiting the use of force in any form.’

‘For 75 years of occupation, settlements have been built, with the prevention of a viable Palestinian state. This is an insult to the international community,’ he lamented.

Oman’s representative urged member states and parties to protect Palestinian civilians, force Israel to comply with the law, and stressed that the legal consequences of Israeli actions aim to deny the Palestinian people their right to self-determination.

Norway: Israel’s actions are rejected and unilateral

The representative of Norway stated that the ongoing occupation since 1967 and recent developments are of great concern, where Israel is using force in Gaza, building illegal settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, demolishing homes, displacing Palestinian citizens, all of which are actions violating international law and human rights. He emph
asized the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

Norway’s representative pointed out that the construction of settlements and the apartheid wall are real obstacles to achieving peace. He stated that the UN Security Council has issued numerous resolutions affirming that these actions violate international law, and their continuation hinders the possibility of a two-state solution.

The Norwegian envoy insisted that any occupation must be temporary and within a defined timeframe. In the case of Palestine, he stated, Israel is engaged in an unlawful annexation of Palestinian territories, moving its population to occupied lands against the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Pakistan: Israel created facts on the ground that are difficult to undo

The representative of Pakistan stated that Israel has created, through colonial policies, difficult-to-undo facts aiming to impose its long-term occupation on the West Bank and Gaza. The representative argued that it was not just a military occupation b
ut actual annexation of territories, requiring effective steps to stop it.

He added that the policy of the Israeli occupation is based on seizing all lands and imposing absolute control, a violation of international law. The representative stressed the need for the International Court of Justice to take necessary steps to stop this occupation.

Pakistan’s representative said Israel’s practices, including racial discrimination and imposing an apartheid system, have created a situation of discrimination that favors colonists over native Palestinians. He considered Jerusalem a holy city and birthplace of religions, but that Israel prevents Christians and Muslims from freely performing their prayers, calling for the previous status quo at the holy site to be restored.

The representative reaffirmed support for the two-state solution, adding that his country has voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution calling for a permanent settlement based on international law and a two-state solution.

Indonesia: Is
raeli occupation is illegal and must stop

Indonesia’s representative expressed solidarity with the Palestinian cause and condemned Israel’s blatant violations of international law, emphasizing the humanitarian catastrophe occurring in Gaza.

She stated that the Israeli occupation is illegal and must come to an end, noting Israel’s lack of intention to respect its legal obligations, as evident from Netanyahu’s statement: ” ‘No one will stop us, not The Hague, not the axis of evil and not anyone else.”

The envoy pointed out that the Israeli military onslaught on Gaza has resulted in 30,000 Palestinians killed, warning of a potential Israeli large-scale invasion of Rafah and the blocking of humanitarian aid from entering Gaza.

She said, ‘Some countries argue that presenting the advisory opinion undermines the peace process. However, there is no peace process to undermine, as Israel continuously obstructs negotiations and the two-state solution through strategic claims and ongoing colonization.’

The represent
ative stated that ‘Israel seeks a unilateral solution without negotiating with the Palestinians and addressing their interests. Israel has shown no interest in any peace process.’

She urged the court to provide its opinion on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation’s violations, asking the court to clarify the future steps the United Nations and member states should take.

Source: Palestine news & Information Agency – WAFA