Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Arab nations and Turkey petition the World Court to deem Israeli occupation unlawful.

On the last day of hearings in a lawsuit evaluating its legal status, Turkey referred to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian areas as “the real obstacle to peace,” while Arab states asked international judges to declare the occupation illegal.

More than fifty governments have presented submissions to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in response to a request made by the United Nations General Assembly in 2022 for a non-binding ruling about the legal ramifications of the Israeli occupation.

Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Ahmet Yildiz, informed judges on the sixth and last day of proceedings that occupation was the primary cause of strife in the area.

Yildiz also discussed the 1,200-person death toll from Hamas’s Oct. 7 bombings in Israel and Israel’s military response that

He called the occupation of Palestinian territory “the real obstacle to peace” and urged the judges to declare it illegal, saying that the events of October 7 “prove once again that there can be no peace in the region without addressing the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Israel, which is not attending the proceedings, has labeled the questions put to the court as biased and claimed that the court’s involvement could be detrimental to reaching a negotiated settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

In a statement read out in court by a representative, Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit called the occupation “an affront to international justice”.

The great majority of states that have appeared before the International Court of Justice, or ICJ, have requested that judges rule that the occupation is unlawful.

A few states have argued that the ICJ shouldn’t issue any advisory opinions, including the tiny island state of Fiji on Monday.

Last week, the US pleaded with the court to refrain from ordering the complete evacuation of Israeli forces from the Palestinian areas and instead to restrict any advisory judgment on the occupation.

The Biden administration, which had previously altered long-standing US policy under President Trump, declared on Friday that Israel’s expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank was illegal under international law.

The ICJ’s hearings concluded on Monday, and the court stated that a decision date will be published soon. It is anticipated that the 15-judge panel will take about six months to render a non-binding decision regarding the occupation.

International powers have also put pressure on Palestinian factions to reconcile over their differing views on how to respond to Israel’s occupation, the Gaza War, and the potential political order that might emerge.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh declared his resignation on Monday in order to facilitate political agreement on a post-conflict governance framework for Gaza.

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