Egypt argues against Israeli practices in occupied Palestinian territories at ICJ

Sami Hegazi
4 Min Read

Egypt gave an oral argument at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Wednesday, on the UN General Assembly’s resolution that asks the ICJ to give an advisory opinion on the legal effects of Israeli practices in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. Yasmine Moussa, Legal Adviser in the Office of the Foreign Minister, presented the Egyptian case at the ICJ.

Egypt confirmed the ICJ’s jurisdiction to give advisory opinions on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and its ability to support the goal of a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel.

Egypt said that Israel’s orders to force the residents of Gaza out of their homes were ethnic cleansing and that Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention forbids any actions of the occupation forces to deport any or all of the residents.

The Egyptian representative said that Israel was expanding settlements to change the demographics and illegally claim sovereignty over the occupied Palestinian territories, which was a colonial act.

She said that the measures taken by Israel to change the status of the occupied city of Jerusalem are unacceptable and that taking the Palestinian people’s land is a war crime.

She said that the long occupation cannot comply with international law, especially with the use of excessive force against the native population. She added that Israel does not have the right to take Palestinian land by force.

The statement said that the Israeli occupation’s systematic practices are illegal and violate the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

Egypt said that the West Bank and Gaza are part of the Palestinian territories and that the West Bank and East Jerusalem are occupied territories. It condemned Israel’s denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, which is what Israel tries to do through continued occupation.

Egypt pointed out that the destruction done by Israel in Gaza and the siege that prevents the Palestinians from their rights, show the extent of the violations done by Israel, which are illegal and wrong measures, and they must be stopped now, as the Palestinians face collective punishment for 75 years.

The Egyptian representative asked Israel to cancel all laws and legislation that promote apartheid and discrimination against the Palestinian people. She added that Palestinians suffer from racism and discrimination by settlers.

Egypt has denounced Israel as an occupying power that is displacing Palestinians from their lands and invoking the principle of self-defense in contravention of international law, asking: “How long will the UN keep addressing the consequences of Israeli violations without tackling the root causes?”

Egypt’s representative requested the court to issue an advisory opinion to the General Assembly stating that the Israeli occupation breaches international law.

Yasmine Moussa, Egypt’s representative to the ICJ, accused Israel of blocking humanitarian aid from reaching the Gaza Strip, and of preparing to attack Rafah, where more than 1.3 million Palestinians live.

She emphasized that Palestine has endured the longest occupation in human history, noting that Israel tolerates the violence of settlers against the Palestinian people, as well as the expansion of settlements.

The Egyptian representative at the ICJ asserted that the continuous settlement activities by Israel eroded the basis of a two-state solution and peace in the region, disclosing that the number of settlers has now exceeded 750,000, which is intentionally altering the character of the occupied Palestinian territories.

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