Palestinians to push for review of 'ongoing occupation' at the Hague

Drawing from report accusing Israel of war crimes in 2021 Gaza war, Palestinians seek for ICC to rule Israel's alleged occupation is permanent and not temporary, potentially fueling anti-Israel sentiments

Itamar Eichner|
In a last ditch effort involving the United States, Israel will attempt to torpedo a Palestinian move to pass a UN resolution, calling for an urgent opinion from the International Court of Justice in The Hague on the legality of Israel's alleged "ongoing occupation."
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  • The special "politics and de-colonization" committee is expected to discuss the matter on Wednesday, and if consensus is reached, the Palestinians will table it for a second round of vote at the UN General Assembly in December. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said he will demand a vote on the issue this Friday in an attempt to nullify the Palestinian effort to pass the move for the ICC to weight in on the "occupation" without a proper vote.
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    Navi Pillay
    Navi Pillay
    Navi Pillay
    (Photo: AP)
    The Palestinian move to push for an ICC opinion came days after publication of a report by the UN Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in the West Bank and Gaza, which concluded that Israel has committed “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity,” against the Palestinians in the wake of 2021 Gaza war dubbed Operation Guardian of the Walls.
    Israeli officials suggested the move was coordinated with the report's committee, led by Navi Pillay, from the start.
    The move also comes one year after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speech to the UN General Assembly, in which he said that if Israel won't leave the West Bank, he will take the matter to The Hague to force the ICC to issue a legal opinion on the legality of the occupation.
    The Palestinian initiative seeks for the ICC to "determine the legal ramifications deriving from Israel's continuous disregard for the Palestinian people's rights for self-determination, the ongoing occupation, the annexation of Palestinian territory annexed in 1967, including steps that were designed to alter the demographic situation and the status of city of Jerusalem, the affirmation of discriminatory legislation to that effect, the manner in which Israeli policy affects the occupation's legal standings and what are the legal ramifications stemming from this move with regards to the international community and the United Nations."
    The Palestinians are seeking for the ICC to rule that the Israeli occupation is not temporary - as described by resolution 242 of the UN Security Council - but permanent, making it a de facto annexation. The ICC could also recommend the manner in which to engage with Israel, whether operatively, by sanctions or boycott.
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    גלעד ארדן במועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
    גלעד ארדן במועצת הביטחון של האו"ם
    Gilad Erdan at UN Security Council
    (Photo: UN)
    On the Israeli side, there's a concern that this would embolden anti-Israeli movements, such as the Boycott Divest and Sanction Movement and other pro-boycott actors around the globe. The United States and the European Union are trying to apply pressure on the Palestinians to avoid making such a move, but so far the efforts have proven fruitless.
    "Israel rejects the Palestinian resolution," the Foreign Ministry said. "The Palestinian leadership's unrelenting creativity to initiate moves that will only serve to fuel the conflict, is both alarming and anxiety inducing. It is part of an orchestrated, specifically timed campaign that is marred by antisemitism, and is designed to delegitimize Israel's right for self defense. Supporting them is a prize for terrorism and anti-Israeli sentiment. Israel will combat this resolution and we call on all UN countries to reject it outright."
    Erdan added: "Abbas is once again engaging in a destructive behavior that will only serve to hurt the Palestinian people. We will make all countries understand that supporting such an initiative only rewards terrorist organizations and will further fuel the ongoing conflict."
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