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Iran at ICJ seeks immediate end to crimes of Israel against Palestinians

President Joan Donoghue of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), center, speaks at the ICJ prior to the verdict announcement in the genocide case against Israel, brought by South Africa, in The Hague on January 26, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Reza Najafi says the crimes of Israel against the Palestinians must stop immediately.

Najafi was reading Iran’s statement on Thursday during oral proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

While pointing out the long-standing principled position of Iran for the full realization of the Palestinians’ inherent right to self-determination and non-recognition of Israel, the Iranian representative highlighted the disastrous situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, citing reports from international organizations and aid agencies.

The Iranian representative expressed hope that the court, with its fair opinion, would provide the basis that would help save the lives of thousands of innocent women and children across the occupied Palestinian territories.

“We remain at a turning point in the history of mankind; the opinion of this Court can set the ground for saving the lives of thousands of innocent women and children, and contribute to the legitimate demand of a people deprived of its inherent right to self-determination for decades.”

“Needless to say, forcible displacement of civilian population, is of such a high significance that has been defined as a war crime under Article 8 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court.” 

Elsewhere in the statement, the top UN court was told that holding a national referendum is the only legal and democratic way to determine the fate of the Palestinians. 

“In the Islamic Republic of Iran’s view, the only legal, practical, democratic and just method to effectively realize the inherent right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is to hold a national referendum in the Palestine. The details of this plan are contained in an official document of the United Nations issued in 2019.”

The top UN court is holding a fourth day of hearings on Israel’s decades-long occupation of the Palestinian territories. Representatives from several countries have addressed the Hague-based court.

The tribunal is holding a week of public hearings following a request from the UN, with 52 countries presenting their arguments on the issue of a nonbinding opinion on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The ongoing hearings are related to a case brought by the UN General Assembly following a resolution in December 2022.

Since the Israeli occupation of Palestine in June 1967, the illegal entity has perpetrated a raft of crimes, including killing, displacement, arrest and torture of Palestinians and demolition of their homes.

In its latest act of aggression, more than 29,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed and over 70,000 others injured since the Israeli regime launched its US-backed onslaught on Gaza on October 7, 2023.

Providing Israel with an unbridled supply of arms and ammunition since the initiation of the Gaza war, the United States, Israel’s great benefactor, has vetoed UN Security Council resolutions that called on the regime to cease its aggression.

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