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Arab League: Israel’s occupation of Palestine ‘affront to international justice’

Palestinians walk past building rubble following Israeli airstrikes on the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on February 24, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The Arab League says failure to end Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories has led to the current trend of savagery followed by Israel against the Palestinian people.

“This prolonged occupation is an affront to international justice,” Abdel Hakim El-Rifai, the 22 Arab-country bloc’s representative, told judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Monday.

“The failure to bring it to an end has led to the current horrors perpetrated against the Palestinian people, amounting to genocide.”

The ICJ entered its last day of week-long hearings upon a request from the United Nations.

Speakers on Monday warned a prolonged occupation posed an “extreme danger” to stability in West Asia and beyond.

Over the past week, the judges of the World Court have heard statements from more than 50 countries and international organizations. The ICJ is expected to take about six months to issue its order.

Turkey: Occupation root cause of Israeli-Palestinian conflict

On the final day of the hearings, Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz told judges at the ICJ that Israeli “occupation” of Palestinian territories is the root cause of conflict in the region.

“The unfolding situation after October 7 proves once again that, without addressing the root cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there can be no peace in the region,” he said on the sixth day of hearings.

“The real obstacle to peace is obvious. The deepening occupation by Israel of the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, and failure to implement the two-state vision,” he added.

African Union envoys also urged the World Court to seize the opportunity to end the impunity Israel enjoys in its treatment of the Palestinians.

Israel’s great benefactor, the United States, has said the regime should not be legally obliged to withdraw from Gaza without taking its “very real security needs” into account.

The hearing before the court is separate from a case brought by South Africa against Israel for genocide during its campaign in Gaza. In that case, the ICJ ruled that Israel should do everything in its power to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and allow humanitarian aid.

The regime keeps the savage campaign going, all international efforts to halt the hostilities notwithstanding.

Only since October 7, 2023, Israel has killed nearly 30,000 people, a considerably large number of them women and children, in Gaza.

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