THE HAGUE: Officials attend a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal consequences of the Zionist occupation of Palestinian territories on Feb 22, 2024. – AFP
THE HAGUE: Officials attend a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal consequences of the Zionist occupation of Palestinian territories on Feb 22, 2024. – AFP
Kuwait slams Zionist occupation
Kuwaiti envoy breaks down while expressing Palestinian suffering at ICJ

THE HAGUE: Kuwait on Thursday submitted its oral argument before the International Court of Justice in The Hague to issue its advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from the violations of the Zionist occupying power in the occupied Palestinian territories, in accordance with the request of the United Nations General Assembly to the Court based on the UN resolution on “(Zionist) practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

Ambassador of Kuwait to Netherlands Ali Al-Thefeeri, Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations in New York Tariq Al-Bannai and the Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs Tahani Al-Nasser presented the pleadings before the ICJ. Thefeeri broke down during his speech and was forced to stop his address several times as he questioned why the Zionist entity is allowed to commit crimes against Palestinians without being held to account. “Why does the victim continue to be portrayed as the killer? Why does (the Zionist entity) always escape punishment?” he asked.

The ICJ is holding hearings all week on the legal implications of the Zionist entity’s occupation since 1967, with an unprecedented 52 countries giving evidence. While any ICJ opinion would be non-binding, it comes amid mounting international legal pressure on the Zionist entity over the war in Gaza. The hearings are separate from a high-profile case brought by South Africa alleging the Zionist entity is committing genocidal acts during its current Gaza offensive.

In January, the ICJ ruled in that case that the Zionist entity must do everything in its power to prevent genocide and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, stopping short of ordering a ceasefire.

The UN General Assembly has asked the ICJ to consider two questions. Firstly, the court should examine the legal consequences of “the ongoing violation by (the Zionist entity) of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”. This relates to the “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967” and “measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem”.

In June 1967, the Zionist entity crushed some of its Arab neighbors in a six-day war, seizing the West Bank including east Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. The Zionist entity then began to settle the 70,000 sq km of seized Arab territory. The UN later declared the occupation of Palestinian territory illegal. Cairo regained Sinai under its 1979 peace deal with the Zionist entity.

The ICJ has also been asked to look into the consequences of the Zionist entity’s “adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures”. Secondly, the ICJ should advise on how the Zionist entity’s actions “affect the legal status of the occupation” and what are the consequences for the UN and other countries. The ICJ rules in disputes between states and its judgements are binding, although it has little means to enforce them. However, in this case, the opinion it issues will be non-binding although most advisory opinions are in fact acted upon. – Agencies

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