UK Opposes ICJ's Role in Israel's Palestinian Occupation Case

UK Opposes ICJ's Role in Israel's Palestinian Occupation Case

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United Kingdom is seeking to prevent the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from addressing crucial matters related to international humanitarian law, as reported by a UK daily.

This comes in response to the legal opinion submitted by the UK to the ICJ concerning the legality of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

In a 43-page legal opinion submitted last month as part of the ICJ’s fact-finding stage, the UK opposes the very hearing of the case in the court, according to The Guardian.

This position of the UK is reportedly shared by only a few among the 57 opinions sent to the court by member states and non-governmental organizations.

The ICJ is anticipated to provide its advisory opinion to the UN General Assembly regarding the legal consequences of the “occupation, settlement and annexation” of Palestinian land in the upcoming months. This follows a UNGA resolution in December, which requested the ICJ’s opinion on “legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

At that time, Israel, along with its Western supporters, including the US and UK, voted against the resolution, contending that it could hinder negotiations between the conflicting parties.

The Guardian reports that Palestinian diplomats and experts in international humanitarian law criticize the UK’s stance for not acknowledging the entrenched nature of Israel’s occupation and the rapidly deteriorating situation.

Dr. Victor Kattan, an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, characterized the UK submission as endorsing Israeli talking points and neglecting the significance of addressing Israeli violations.

Daniel Machover, a human rights litigation expert in London, expressed concern about the UK’s attempt to block the court from addressing such important matters, comparing it to how the UK would not oppose addressing similar issues, such as Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian territory.

Members have until October 25 to comment on statements submitted to the ICJ by others. If the court accepts the request for an advisory opinion, deliberations are expected to last at least a year.

While various UN bodies have found aspects of the occupation to be illegal, there has been no definitive judgment on whether the occupation of the West Bank itself, now in its 56th year, is unlawful.

The ICJ, located in The Hague, is the primary UN court for resolving disputes between nations. Its rulings are binding, although it lacks the power to enforce them.

The most recent significant ICJ action related to Palestine was in 2004 when the court declared Israel’s West Bank separation wall illegal, a ruling rejected by Israel.

This development occurs as Israel’s government has escalated its crackdown on Palestinians, resulting in heightened settler violence against Palestinian communities and a substantial number of Palestinian casualties.

Source: Tasnim News