Home NewsAsia Declare the occupation illegal, Turkiye tells World Court

Declare the occupation illegal, Turkiye tells World Court

by Zahid Jadwat
A delegation headed by Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz, right, told the court in The Hague the UN Security Council is failing [Picture: Nikos Oikonomou/Anadolu]


After a week of hearings from a litany of countries, including South Africa, Turkiye pressed the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to declare Apartheid Israel’s occupation of Palestine illegal. The country presented its argument in The Hague on Monday.

Turkiye’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz placed the occupation of Palestine at the centre of the “conflict” in the holy lands. This, he said, was important to address if any peace was to be achieved.

“The unfolding situation after October 7 proves once again that, without addressing the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there can be no peace in the region,” he said, adding that the decades-long occupation was “the real obstacle to peace”.

Since 1967, Israel has occupied the West Bank. There are some 230 settlements in the so-called ‘Area C’, an area ought to have been handed over to the Palestinians under the Oslo Accords in 1997. Yildiz urged the judges to declare this occupation illegal.


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In the Peace Palace, Judge Nawab Salam, indicated the judges’ conclusions will be announced at a public hearing. This, lawyers at the court anticipated, could take at least six months.

While the World Court held hearings on the legal implications of the occupation, the apartheid regime pushed ahead with further atrocities in Palestine. The death toll in Gaza now hovers very close to the 30 000 mark.

Non-stop bombing of the Gaza Strip means it has been accused of failing to comply with the same court’s orders in a separate genocide case brought by South Africa.

On Monday, US president Joe Biden indicated a “ceasefire” could be in place within a week. He told reporters in New York: “My hope is by next Monday, we’ll have a ceasefire.”

Ongoing negotiations meant that the Occupier, over the weekend, agreed to the broad terms of a deal that would see hostages released in exchange for several weeks’ reprieve from the War of Extermination.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday tendered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas. He claimed to do so bearing in mind the need for “new governmental and political arrangements”.

“The decision to resign came in light of the unprecedented escalation in the West Bank and Jerusalem and the war, genocide and starvation in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

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