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ICJ Urged to ‘Ensure the Safety and Very Existence of the Palestinian People’

International Court of Justice hearings. Credit: ICJ

Alone, with the possible exception of the UK, the United States argued today to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that the Court should not use international law principles and order that Israel withdraw from Palestinian territories, but should allow political “negotiations” between Israel and Palestinian organizations to provide a solution to the terrible problem of Israel’s occupation. The other nations testifying on a 2022 request to the World Court by the UN General Assembly, that it consider ruling that occupation legal or illegal, included Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia; all urged the Court to act, and act quickly, on the international law principles of the matter. But while Egypt, for the others as well, emphasized that Israel’s long occupation “violates non-derogable principles of international law,” the United States urged the Court precisely to derogate from its own legal responsibility and cede authority to political negotiations between politically, economically, and militarily massively unequal parties.

State Department legal advisor Richard Visek, the lead American representative, argued that “They have asked you [the Court] to try to resolve the whole of the dispute between the parties through an advisory opinion, addressed to questions focusing on the acts of only one party.” Although the hearings are intended to establish the legal status of occupied Palestinian territories, Visek argued that the only path for resolution was by negotiations and treaties of the parties.

Israel decided not to send a delegation, according to a report in the {Times of Israel].

The representative of the UAE, H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, concentrated on arguing for an independent Palestinian state, and therefore “two independent, prosperous, and secure States…. Peace will be elusive while the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination continues to be denied. Calling the occupation “seemingly immune from international law”—which, among other provisions Israel has flagrantly violated, specifies that occupations should be temporary, not “an injustice that has persisted for more than seven decades,” in the words of Ms. Nusseibeh—the UAE urged the Court to act decisively.

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