Ambassador Assad Shoman Advocates for Palestinian Rights at International Court of Justice

Ambassador Assad Shoman Advocates for Palestinian Rights at International Court of Justice

Ambassador Assad Shoman spoke at the International Court of Justice in The Hague this morning.  His nine-minute presentation was on behalf of Belize on the issue of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.  The occupation dates back to 1967 which the World Court is hoping to somehow resolve.  In his presentation, Shoman reiterated the violation of the rights of the Palestinians, and their right to self-determination.  He highlighted three main issues of concern, including the prevention of free movement by Palestinians in their own territory, the famine that has been brought upon the Palestinians, and the destruction of schools, universities, and homes.

Assad Shoman, Ambassador: “The exclusion of Palestinians from any part of Palestinian territory denies their right to territorial integrity which is an essential part of the right to self determination. Yet Israel has systematically removed and excluded Palestinians from parts of their territory, it has separated Gaza from the West Bank and prevented the free movement of Palestinians within the Palestinian territory. It has prohibited the return of Palestinians to their homes and property and established exclusionary, illegal settlements in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. Second, Israel denies the existence of Palestinians as a people. The Israeli Minister of Finance himself an illegal settler has stated that there is no such thing as Palestinian people. Senior Israeli leaders routinely deny that the Palestinian people have a right to self determination. Moreover the case brought by South Africa, which Belize fully supports, lays bare the fact that Israel genocidal campaign in Gaza also denies the right of Palestinians to exist at all. Gaza’s entire population of more than 2 million people is in crisis facing the worse levels of acute food insecurity. By December 2023 the famine threshold had already been exceeded and the situation was deteriorating rapidly. Third, Israel is using forcible action to deprive the Palestinian people of their right to self determination and freedom and complete independence. This includes the right of the Palestinian people freely to determine without external interference their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Israel’s forcible action that denies the right to self determination consists of institutional coercive policies and practices that exert authority over and oppress the Palestinian people. These include the complete control exercised over Palestinian natural and economic resources, the institutionalized and racist apartheid and the systematic and excessive use of force, arbitrary killing and mass incarceration of Palestinians including children. Israel must be made to behave like all civilized nations. Stop violating international law and UN resolutions. Respect the right of the Palestinian people to self determination. Palestine must be free.”

The presentations over the past two days are part of the historic hearing being held by the ICJ.  The court will hear from 52 countries plus three organizations as they present on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, namely, the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.  Back in 2022, there was a UN Commission of Inquiry that concluded that Israel’s occupation of these territories was violating international law based on permanence, and Israel’s de-facto annexation policies. Love News understands that this is the largest number of parties to participate in any single ICJ case since the court was established in 1945

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