Home NewsAfrica ‘End the occupation’: Israel’s occupation scrutinised in court

‘End the occupation’: Israel’s occupation scrutinised in court

by Zahid Jadwat

‘End the occupation,’ top UN court is told. [Picture: 


While much of Western media turned their backs to Monday’s proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), those who paid attention would have heard a longstanding plea. It was the plea for Palestine’s right to sovereignty; its right to be free from occupation and apartheid.

The World Court kicked off the first day of historic hearings into Apartheid Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. The Zionist occupation of Palestine, including the West Bank, since 1967 outstretches the months it has bombarded humanity out of the Gaza Strip.

Delivering closing statements in The Hague, Palestine’s envoy to the United Nations (UN) summed up clearly what his country sought from the highest court of the planet.

“A finding from this distinguished court that the occupation is illegal and drawing the legal consequences from this determination would contribute to bringing it to an immediate end, paving the way to just and lasting peace,” he said.


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End the occupation

Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank since 1967 is considered the longest occupation in modern history. This very court – the ICJ – itself affirmed the status of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as militarily occupied.

Much of today’s proceedings centred around Israel’s defiance of international law in respect to its persistent occupation. Being a matter of injustice, Mansour reminded of the rights of Palestinians to equal rights as their Jewish neighbours.

“Ending injustice and achieving a just and lasting peace, to guide us towards a future in which Palestinian children are treated as children… in which the identity of the group to which we belong does not diminish the human rights to which we are all entitled,” he implored.

“Palestinian people only demand respect for their rights. They ask for nothing more,” he further stated.

The West Bank has, under Israeli occupation, been the scene of apartheid for decades already. The more than 460 000 Israelis occupying Palestinian land while enjoying representation in the Knesset are an example of this apartheid.

In addition, there are mounting accusations of human rights violations and violation of international law under the occupation.

Earlier during the day, a legal representative for Palestine urged the court to do its part by encouraging an end to “terrible injustice”. Speaking in French, Alain Pellet called the occupation “the mother of all violations”.

“Your opinion, distinguished members of the court, will be a very precious guide for Palestine,” adding they could help put an end “to this terrible injustice and work for a just and lasting peace allowing each state in the region to live in security”.

The court will resume on Tuesday morning, when it is expected to hear from South Africa, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Bangladesh and Belgium.

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