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ICJ case against illegal Israeli occupation

Sameera Casmod | sameerac@radioislam.co.za
21 February 2024 | 13:42 SAST
2 minute read

The Peace Palace at The Hague in the Netherlands, seat of the International Court of Justice. (Andrea Brizzi/United Nations)

AMSTERDAM- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) commenced hearings Monday to examine the implications of Israel’s prolonged illegal occupation of Palestine. The case, separate from last month’s genocide case, is a response to a request from the United Nations General Assembly in 2022.

Ayesha Vahed, a legal correspondent reporting from the Netherlands, told Radio Islam International that she notices a significant awakening among Dutch citizens regarding the Palestinian plight, with a surge in pro-Palestinian sentiment. This sentiment is particularly evident within the Turkish, Moroccan, and Muslim communities, which have been vocal and active in advocating for Palestine.

Vahed compared South Africa’s genocide case to the current session at the Hague. The proceedings themselves vary in nature, with the South African case grounded in the Genocide Convention, binding Israel to comply with the court’s decisions.

“The South African case was a case based on the Genocide Convention, to which Israel is a party member, and the Genocide Convention basically prevents any country from committing a genocide on another country. Those proceedings are binding, and because Israel is a member to the Convention, they are bound by those proceedings… As we know, Israel is a law unto themselves, and they have not been complying with the provisional measures,” Vahed explains.

In contrast, the current hearings, encompassing submissions from 52 countries, seek an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the occupation in Palestine. While predominantly supportive of Palestine, these proceedings lack binding force but contribute to international law.

Vahed highlights the absence of pro-Israel presentations thus far, with countries like Palestine, South Africa, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia among those making submissions. However, the United States is expected to make a potentially contrasting presentation today.

“The only submission that people believe would be against Palestine or pro-Israel would be the submission from the United States,” Vahed says.

Regarding the timeline, Vahed estimated a typical duration of six months for an advisory opinion outcome, though expedited proceedings may be possible given the urgency of the situation. Despite existing provisional measures urging Israel to cease military actions and permit humanitarian aid, enforcement remains a challenge.

“So right now, the problem is not really with the court, it’s with the enforcing mechanisms, and it’s up to the state members and the countries to force Israel to comply.”

Listen to the full report on Sabaahul Muslim with Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat here.

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