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Oman pushes for Palestinian statehood at ICJ

24 Feb 2024

Muscat – The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination are being violated day after day by Israel’s illegal polices of ‘genocide’, Oman reiterated to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague at a public hearing on Friday.

The UN’s top court continued its hearing from different states and three international organisations who question the legality of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Representatives of countries including Qatar, Pakistan, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Oman delivered their positions on the fourth day of the hearing at the ICJ.

Oman reaffirmed during the proceedings, delivered by H E Abdullah Salim al Harthi, Ambassador of Oman to the Netherlands, that for more than 75 years, the Palestinians have been living under occupation, oppression, injustice and daily humiliation committed against them by the Israelis, even as the international community and organisations failed to assist the people of Palestine to realise their aspirations of having their own independent state.

“For four months, the world has witnessed in Gaza one of the worst atrocities – acts of genocide in modern times. More than 29,000 are dead and 68,000 wounded, 2.2mn live in unbearable conditions, being driven from one place to another in clear violation of international norms,” H E Harthi told the world court.

“Violation of the right to self-determination, and occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian lands by Israel since 1967 impede the realisation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,” he added.

The ambassador said there is overwhelming international agreement on the right to self-determination and its continued denial in the occupied Palestinian territories. He stressed that “the court should decide Israel puts an immediate and unconditional end to this illegal situation, and the need for states to support these efforts”.

H E Harthi added that the prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territories over decades is designed to perpetuate the occupation and make it permanent.

Related to this policy, he said, is the displacement of Palestinians and the establishment of a coercive system of discrimination, zoning, unlawful land appropriation, arbitrary arrests and arbitrary violence since 1967.

He pointed out that the international community has an obligation to prevent unlawful annexation of Palestinian land. “A fundamental principle of international law as reflected in the Charter of the United Nations is that the use of force in any form is prohibited. Consequently, acquisition of territory by use of force is illegal. The 75-year occupation and settlement policy of the State of Israel is preventing the establishment of a contiguous, viable Palestinian State and is an affront to international law.” 

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