UK opposes ICJ ruling on legality of Israeli occupation

(Photo: Twitter)
LONDON — The UK has been accused of aiming to block the hearing of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), regarding a submission to the world court on the legality of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.اضافة اعلان

A 43-page legal opinion was submitted by the UK last month as part of the ICJ’s fact-finding stage before an expected advisory opinion from the court on the legal consequences of the “occupation, settlement and annexation” of Palestinian land, the Guardian reported.

The UK opposes the hearing of the case altogether – a position that lands them in the minority of the 57 member states and non-governmental organizations that sent opinions to the court.

There have been many rulings declaring certain aspects of the Israeli occupation as illegal, yet there has never been a judgment on whether the occupation itself either is or has become unlawful, marking this case as an important legal landmark for the conflict.

The UK opinion’s main arguments
An advisory opinion would effectively settle Israel’s “bilateral dispute” without the state’s consent.

The court is not equipped to examine a “broad range of complex factual issues concerning the entire history of the parties’ dispute”.

An advisory opinion would conflict with existing agreements between the parties and negotiation frameworks endorsed by the UN.

The request is not appropriate as it asks the court to “assume unlawful conduct on the part of Israel”.

Reactions to these points
Many Palestinian diplomats and international humanitarian law experts were dismayed by the UK’s stance, they say it not only ignores the fact that Israel’s occupation is deep-seated, but also that it continuously grows more so.

A senior Palestinian source, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The UK submission is a complete endorsement of Israeli talking points. They are not arguing that this is not the right time to go to the ICJ, because the peace process is working. They are saying the Israeli violations Palestinians point out are not as important as negotiation frameworks from decades ago.”

Unlike other ICJ submissions seen by the Guardian, including those of France and Ireland, the UK statement makes no mention of the dire political situation in either Israel or Palestine. It also does not reference relevant UN findings since 2016 that Israel has repeatedly failed to fulfil its obligation to uphold the rights of the Palestinian people and violated international humanitarian law.

Key rulings
Whether the occupation is still a “temporary” measure will be central to the debate. The court could extend a previous finding of partial annexation, weigh in on allegations of apartheid, and suggest states would be obliged not to recognize or aid the occupation.

Israel was angered by the ICJ referral, with its envoy to the UN, Gilad Erdan, calling the general assembly vote a “moral stain”.

The last conclusive action related to Palestine at the ICJ was in 2004, when the court decided Israel’s West Bank security barrier was illegal. Israel rejected the ruling.

An international criminal court (ICC) investigation into alleged war crimes committed by both Israeli and Palestinian armed forces is being conducted, but is progressing slowly. Israel also does not recognize the validity of ICC rulings, hence they are not bound to them.

Read more Region and World
Jordan News