The International Court of Justice continues public hearings (Al Jazeera)

The Hague -

Yesterday, Thursday, the International Court of Justice in The Hague continued its public hearings during which representatives of countries, including China, Jordan, Iran, Ireland, Lebanon and Iraq, presented their positions on the issue of a non-binding opinion on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

After the United States defended Israel last Wednesday, the arguments of the countries participating in the fourth session defended the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, criticizing the settlement plan that Tel Aviv has been following illegally for more than half a century.

On the other hand, Israel, in its written remarks, merely said that the participation of international justice “may harm the achievement of a negotiated settlement.”

The justices are expected to take approximately 6 months to issue their non-binding advisory opinion.

International Court of Justice judges issue their non-binding advisory opinion after nearly 6 months (Reuters)


China took advantage of its participation in the international justice session to confront the United States’ argument that Israel should not be ordered to withdraw unconditionally from the occupied Palestinian territories without security guarantees.

In this context, the legal advisor to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ma Xinmin, told the court that justice “has been delayed for a long time, but it should not be denied,” stressing that “the Palestinians should not be deprived of it.”

He added, "Israel is a foreign country that occupies Palestine, and therefore the right to self-defense falls more on the shoulders of the Palestinians than the Israelis."

This comes after the American delegation urged the International Court of Justice and the United Nations to stay away from any bilateral issue between Palestine and Israel.

But according to Chinese opinion, the United Nations must take into account the urgent need to determine the fate of the Palestinian people.

The Chinese delegation also considered the Palestinians’ resort to armed resistance to gain their independence from foreign colonial rule a “legitimate and inalienable right” under international law.

Citing UN General Assembly resolutions, the Chinese legal advisor to the court stressed that people struggling for self-determination can resort to "all available means, including armed struggle."

He added, citing international conventions, that "the struggle that peoples are waging for their liberation and their right to self-determination, including the armed struggle against colonialism, occupation, aggression and control by foreign powers, must not be considered an act of terrorism."

an opportunity

When Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi was asked about the strength and importance of these oral arguments, although they are not binding on Israel, he explained to Al Jazeera Net that their importance lies in “providing the international community with an opportunity to demonstrate the absurdity of the war on the Gaza Strip and the killing and destruction it produces.” .

Al-Safadi added that his country presented clear arguments based on its firm position that peace, security and stability will not be achieved without the end of the illegal and illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, warning of the consequences of the continued Israeli aggression on Gaza, which is considered a violation of international law and a transgression of all human values.

During yesterday's session, Thursday, Al-Safadi stressed that "the occupation is illegal and inhumane and must end, and that Israel is working systematically to consolidate the occupation and deprive the Palestinians of their right to self-determination."

He continued, "Israel is violating the rights of Muslims and Christians to freedom of worship by preventing Muslims from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, and not protecting the priests from extremist Israeli insults and violations."

He concluded his statements by saying, "Palestinians are killed in the hundreds every day in Gaza and the West Bank, because Israel is not held accountable for the war crimes it commits and violations of international law. The occupation is the source of all evil and must end."

Go beyond logic

For its part, Ireland criticized - in its remarks - Israel's prolonged occupation of Palestinian territories and its settlement activities, considering that this entails serious violations of international law and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

She stressed that Israel's actions following the attacks of October 7, 2023 "beyond logic."

Prosecutor Rosa Fanning told International Justice that UN Secretary-General António Guterres indicated that the coercive environment created by Israel amounts to forced transfer, which is a “grave violation” of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and amounts to a “war crime.”

For his part, Reza Najafi, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, said, “The establishment of the Israeli regime took place through a violent process that included the forced displacement of the indigenous Palestinian population, to create a colony with a Jewish majority in line with the Zionist movement.”

He added, "The expansion of settlements, isolated roads, barriers and checkpoints has created an apartheid system that isolates Palestinian communities."

The Iranian official also pointed to a series of ongoing violations by the Israeli occupation regime, including the length of the occupation, changing the demographic composition in the occupied territories, changing the character and status of the Holy City, as well as discriminatory measures, and violations of the rights of the Palestinian people to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources.

At the conclusion of his speech, Najafi spoke about “the inaction or insufficient actions on the part of the Security Council, which was one of the main reasons for the prolonged occupation of Palestine,” and that he was paralyzed by the stalemate caused by “an appointed permanent member,” according to him.

The Iraqi Ambassador and Head of the Legal Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Haider Shiaa Al-Barrak, also stressed the need to stop the "systematic killing machine" against the Palestinian people, and end "mass murder and genocide."

He added that “these actions constitute war crimes carried out with criminal intent, and serious violations of the laws of war” and that Israel “must be held accountable.”

Source: Al Jazeera