Palestinian foreign minister lashes out in The Hague: 'Apartheid in West Bank, genocide in Gaza; occupation must end'

World Court opens hearings on Israeli 'occupation' of Palestinian territories; after Palestinians' address, 51 countries and three international organizations will speak

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Monday opened hearings on eventually issuing a non-binding advisory opinion on the Israeli "occupation" of Palestinian territories.
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At the opening of a week of hearings, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said "Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and has enforced a policy of apartheid against Palestinians for years."
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בית הדין בהאג
בית הדין בהאג
The International Court of Justice
(Photo: AP/Peter Dejong)
"Allowing this to continue is unacceptable," Al-Maliki added. "It is a moral and legal obligation to bring it to a prompt end."
"I stand before you as 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, half of them children, are besieged and bombed, killed and maimed, starved and displaced," he continued. "More than 3.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, including in Jerusalem, are subjected to colonization of their territory and racist violence that enables it."
"This occupation is annexation and supremacist in nature," al-Maliki added. "It is a deliberate, cynical perversion of international law. ... The only solution, consistent with international law is for this illegal occupation to come to an immediate, unconditional and total end."
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בית הדין בהאג
בית הדין בהאג
(Photo: Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw)
After the Palestinians' address, an unprecedented 51 countries and three international organizations will speak. Israel is not scheduled to speak during the hearings, but could submit a written statement.
Yuval Shany, a law professor at Hebrew University and senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, said Israel will likely justify its policies on security grounds, especially in the absence of a peace deal.
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