Israel Palestine Conflict

Iran addresses the ICJ on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories

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Iran called upon the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the UN Security Council (UNSC) to take steps to prevent the “ongoing genocide” in Gaza, adding that other nations have a legal duty towards the Palestinian people, as it addressed the ICJ on Thursday.

“This court has an important role to play,” Raza Najafi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs said, adding that the ICJ must “consolidate the rule of law into the rule of power” and bring hope to the Palestinian people that justice will prevail.

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Najafi, whose country does not recognize Israel, said the UNSC was responsible for Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip saying that “the inaction or insufficient action of the Security Council” is one of the “main causes of prolonged occupation of the Palestinians.”

“All the atrocities and crimes committed by the Israeli regime in the past almost eight years are a consequence of such inaction,” he said.

Even today, the Iranian representative added, the Security Council is “paralyzed due to the stalemate” caused by a “certain permanent member.”

Najafi accused the Israeli government of perpetuating an apartheid in Palestinian territories by “intentionally subjecting” Palestinians to “live beyond walls and checkpoints under a permanent military rule.”

He called upon countries to come together and “counteract” Israel and prevent an ongoing “apartheid” and “genocide” against Palestinians.

“All states, particular those proving support to Israel are legally under the duty to prevent genocide by ceasing to provide any aid to the genocide[r],” Najafi told the 15-judge panel at The Hague.

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The ICJ is hearing arguments from 52 countries and three international organizations this week – the largest number of participants in any single World Court case – to review Israel’s “occupation, settlement and annexation” of the Palestinian territories, along with policies aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the city of Jerusalem.

Najafi concluded his remarks by urging the court to not abandon the Palestinians.

“We should not leave them alone and let them down,” he said. “This is a collective legal and moral responsibility, and we must fulfil it responsibly.”

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