Israeli Occupation Must End: UAE Tells ICJ

Emirati Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh stressed that “international law cannot be an à la carte menu; it must apply equally to all.”..reports Asian Lite News

The UAE has advocated for the fulfilment of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the two-state solution at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.

In December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly requested that the ICJ provide an advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from Israel’s policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister for Political Affairs and UAE’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, emphasised the significance of the ICJ’s advisory opinion in the realisation of the two-state solution, with Palestine and Israel living side by side.

She underscored that Israel’s violations imperil the two-state solution, and discussed in this context the devastating, ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, and Israel’s escalating violations in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem where settlement construction and settler violence have reached record levels.

Ambassador Nusseibeh explained the legal consequences of Israel’s unlawful actions for Israel, the UN and all countries.

“56 years of the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip have been shaped by Israel’s consistent grave violations against the Palestinian people. Israel’s occupation is illegal and must end,” Ambassador Nusseibeh said.

The proceedings before the Court underlined the urgency of the situation, with the UN General Assembly seeking the ICJ’s guidance on questions related to Israel’s ongoing violation of the inalienable right to self-determination for the Palestinian people.

“After decades of violent dehumanisation, dispossession, and despair that has marked the Israeli occupation, violations resulting from that occupation in all parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territory are worsening at an alarming pace. The UAE is confident that the Court has before it ample evidence to assist it in identifying those violations and determining their legal consequences,” Ambassador Nusseibeh added.

The UAE expressed confidence that the ICJ’s advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s violations will contribute significantly to international efforts aimed at achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict in accordance with international law.

“International law cannot be an à la carte menu; it must apply equally to all. And it is all the more essential in the long shadow cast by the Palestinian question: an injustice that has persisted for more than seven decades, and which implicates the most fundamental principles of the international system — of self-determination, of human rights, and of our most basic and universal yearning for peace, justice, and freedom,” Ambassador Nusseibeh underscored.

The ICJ’s advisory proceedings are an important step towards reinforcing a just and lasting solution. The United Arab Emirates remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering peace, justice, and the realisation of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Israel asks Hamas to ‘soften stance’

Israel will send a delegation for Gaza ceasefire talks in Cairo only after it receives more indications that Hamas is willing to “soften its stance,” an Israeli government official told the media.

The official, who requested anonymity, said on Wednesday that Israel has yet to decide on sending a delegation for talks mediated by Qatar and Egypt. These discussions involve a potential ceasefire deal, which would require the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

“Hamas hasn’t yet shown flexibility on the issue of the number of Palestinian prisoners who would be released” under a deal, the official added as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

A meeting of US, Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian negotiators on a hostage release deal ended in Cairo earlier in February without a breakthrough.

Airstrike continues, death toll mounts

 At least 17 Palestinians were killed and more than 34 others injured in an Israeli airstrike on a house in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, local medical sources told the media.

The sources added on Wednesday that rescue efforts are still ongoing, and the casualties include women and children, Xinhua news agency reported.

The recovered victims were all transferred to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the city of Deir el-Balah, the sources said.

Eyewitnesses told Xinhua news agency that an Israeli warplane fired several missiles at the house sheltering several displaced families.

The massive blast brought down the building and caused severe damage to neighbouring houses in the western part of the camp.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian death toll from Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip has risen to 29,313, with 69,333 others wounded, as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said in a press statement on Wednesday.

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