Oman presents oral arguments at the International Court of Justice on Israeli practices

Oman presents oral arguments at the International Court of Justice regarding Israeli practices

The Hague: The Sultanate of Oman delivered its oral statement before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague today on the legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian Territories including East Jerusalem.

The Sultanate of Oman reaffirmed during the oral proceedings delivered on behalf of the government of the Sultanate of Oman by Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Salim Al Harthy, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman, that for more than (75) years, the Palestinians having been living under occupation, oppression, injustice and daily humiliation committed against them by the Israelis. Meanwhile, the international community and the international organizations have failed ot assist the people of Palestine ot realize their aspirations by having their own independent state.

Oman pointed out that today in Gaza, the world for (4) months is witnessing one of the worst atrocities and acts of genocide in modern times, where more than (29) thousands killed and (68) thousands wounded, in addition to (2.2) million live under very unbearable conditions; being driven from one place to another in a clear violation of international norms.

Al Harthy stressed that the Sultanate of Oman supports UNGA resolution (77/247) of 30 December 2022 in which the Assembly requested the Court to render an advisory opinion in relation to two specific issues namely:

a. The legal consequences arising from Israel’s ongoing violation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, its prolonged occupation of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including the Holy City ofJerusalem and its measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character, and status of, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislations and measures.

b. Israel’s policies and practices referred to in paragraph (a) affect the legal status of the occupation and the legal consequences that arise for all States and the United Nations from this status.

Al Harthy said, “The Sultanate of Oman requests that the following issues are taken into account:

1 Violation of the Right to Self-Determination That the occupation, settlement, and annexation of Palestinian Territories occupied since 1967 by Israel obstructs the realisation of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, including their right ot self- determination and right to return.

He added that there is an overwhelming international agreement on the existence of the right to self-determination and its continued denial in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Al Harthy continued, “The right to self-determination is enshrined, inter alia, in article 1(2) of the Charter of the United Nations. The UN General Assembly has consistently reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The UN Security Council has called for an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of two states based on the 1967 lines”.

The Human Rights Council consistently recognises the ‘inalienable, permanent and unqualified right to self-determination of the Palestinian people’.

Al Harthy pointed out that arising from these clear and consistent breaches of international law in maintaining a (75) year occupation, the Court should determine that the government of Israel should bring to an immediate and unconditional end to all activities, policies and laws that prevent and impede Palestinian self- determination principally by ending the occupation of the Palestinian Territory. The Court should recognise the clear responsibility on al States to support the establishment ofPalestinian self-determination in line with UN resolutions and the UN Charter.

Oman’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands added that the Prolonged Occupation, Settlement and Annexation of Palestinian Territory, the consistent and systematic unlawful transfer of Israeli citizens to settlements in the Occupied 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 discriminations, zoning, planning, unlawful land appropriation, arbitrary arrest, and arbitrary violence since 1967.

Additionally, Al Harthy reiterated that this forcible displacement of the occupied people and the transfer of citizens of the occupying power to the occupied territory is prohibited under article (49) of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Article (1) of that Convention stipulates that every High Contracting Party to the Convention is under an obligation to ensure compliance in all circumstances.

The United Nation General Assembly, United Nations Security Council and United Nations Human Rights Council have consistently and repeatedly condemned Israel’s efforts to alter the demographic character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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.

The Court should find that the legal consequences for the Government of Israel in this regard should include the immediate cessation of all illegal acts including settlements and associated legal and administrative frameworks. Clearly, reparations for, and dismantling of, illegal structures and legal frameworks is also an imperative.

He added that the Third States are under a clear obligation not to recognize or assist the illegal situation present ni the Occupied Palestinian Territory. State parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War are under obligation to ensure Israeli compliance with international humanitarian law as embodied in the convention, including the unlawful transfer of citizens in occupied territories.

The UN General Assembly Resolution (77/25) called upon all states consistent with their obligations under the Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions to a policy of non-recognition, non-cooperation, non-assistance to the Israeli occupation and to ensure respect for international law in this regard.

Al Harthy added that the primary legal consequences arising from Israel’s behaviour is that there is now a de facto annexation by Israel of the Palestinian territories.

He pointed out that there is no legal justification for continuing the Israeli occupation and denying the Palestinian people right to self-determination.

The Sultanate of Oman concluded its oral proceedings by affirming that the conduct and practices of an occupying power are well- documented and strictly regulated in international law.

The 4th Geneva Convention is clear that an Occupying Power may not transfer its civilian population to occupied territories.

In addition, international law does not provide for permanent occupation or occupation legitimised through establishment of demographic change through settlement.

The Sultanate of Oman reaffirmed that the (75) year duration of Israeli presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the persistent policy of settlement renders the Israeli occupation illegal and in breach of the UN Charter.

The Court should determine that Israel should bring to an immediate and unconditional end to this unlawful situation. Third States should support these efforts. – ONA

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