UN approves Palestine request for ICJ opinion on Israeli occupation
The resolution was passed by the General Assembly by a vote of 87 to 26 with 53 abstentions.
The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution requesting an opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal implications of “Israel's” illegal occupation of Palestine and its "practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people," despite the occupation’s strained efforts to incite and lure several countries in order to prevent the ICJ's advisory opinion.
The resolution was passed by the General Assembly by a vote of 87 to 26 with 53 abstentions. Russia and China voted in favor of the resolution.
Among Western governments that endorsed the resolution was Portugal, whose envoy recognized the "danger of overjudicialising international relations" but said the world court "underpins the international rules-based order which we wish to preserve."
Unsurprisingly, “Israel”, the United States, and 24 of their allies voted against the resolution, most notably the United Kingdom and Germany, while France was one of the 53 nations that abstained.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ), situated in The Hague and commonly known as the World Court, is the highest UN court dealing with international issues. Its decisions are binding, but the ICJ has no authority to enforce them.
Palestine's UN envoy Riyad Mansour observed that the vote came one day after the swearing-in of a new Israeli occupation administration, which threatens to further expand illegal Israeli settlements and accelerate "colonial and racist policies" toward Palestinians. He also praised nations that voted in favor of the resolution despite threats and pressure.
“We trust that, regardless of your vote today, if you believe in international law and peace, you will uphold the opinion of the International Court of Justice when delivered and you will stand up to this Israeli government right now,” Mansour told the General Assembly.
Last week, the resolution, titled “Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories,” was approved by the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee with 98 votes in favor, 17 votes against, and 52 abstentions.
It is worth noting that the UN General Assembly asked the ICJ to give an advisory opinion on the "legal consequences of Israeli occupation, settlement, and annexation … including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”
The UN resolution further requests that the ICJ advise on how those policies and practices "impact the legal status of the occupation" and what legal ramifications this status has for all countries and the UN.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last ruled on “Israel's” occupation in 2004, when it determined that the separation barrier in the occupied West Bank and East Al-Quds was illegal.
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