ICJ Hearings: Egypt Advocates For 2-State Solution,Urges ‘Immediate’ End of Israeli Occupation

Yasmine Moussa, Legal Advisor at the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented on Wednesday 21/2/2024 Egypt’s oral arguments at the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) hearings on the request for an advisory opinion on the Israeli occup…

Yasmine Moussa, Legal Advisor at the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented on Wednesday 21/2/2024 Egypt’s oral arguments at the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) hearings on the request for an advisory opinion on the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

In her speech at the ICJ, Moussa highlighted a 75-year history of displacement, dispossession, collective punishment, and daily indiscriminate and systematic violence and human suffering of untold proportions by Israelis in Palestine.

‘Brutal onslaught’

She also underlined Israel’s ongoing ‘brutal onslaught’ in Gaza, where 29,000 innocent civilians have been killed and almost 2.3 million people were forcibly transferred and displaced in violation of international humanitarian law.

‘Israel is deliberately and wantonly creating conditions that are intended to make life in Gaza impossible, imposing siege and starvation, including by impeding humanitarian access,’ Moussa stressed.

She warned against Israel’s impending attack on Rafah, where 1
.4 million people have sought refuge.

Moussa added that Israel is continuing its policy of mass forcible expulsion of Palestinian civilians, all while the Security Council repeatedly fails to call for a ceasefire.

Furthermore, Moussa underscored Israeli illegal practices in the West Bank, scaling up attacks, access restrictions, punitive house demolitions, and supporting settler violence that has displaced entire communities.

‘Increased settlement activity [in the West Bank] continues to erode the basis of a two-state solution, dimming prospects of a lasting peace in the region,’ she said.

Moussa stated that these ongoing grave violations of international law by Israel, the occupying power, are part of ‘a wider policy that seeks to dispossess the Palestinians of their land and assert Israeli sovereignty over it.’

Moussa confirmed the jurisdiction of the ICJ to grant an advisory opinion on Israeli practices in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

‘It is shocking that at this critical moment s
ome states would rather see this court abscond responsibility as the principle judicial organ of the UN by declining to render this advisory opinion. What message does this send about these states’ respect to international justice and the rule of law?’ Moussa said.

Illegitimate settlement

Moussa shed light on Israel’s persistent policy of implanting settlements in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem, saying they aim at creating facts on the ground and breaking up the territorial integrity of the occupied Palestinian territories.

She described these practices as a ‘blatant disregard of international law.’

’20 years ago, the representatives of the state of Palestine laid before this court the facts of Israel’s intensive settlement and colonization policy, which had at the time transferred 400,000 illegal settlers to the occupied Palestinian territories. Today, that number stands at 750,000 deliberately and permanently altering the status of the occupied territories,’ she stated.

Moussa voiced objection to
the proposition that occupation is nearly a de facto situation whose legality cannot be called into question as ‘seriously flawed.’

She warned that Israel’s prolonged military role and its strategic settlement policy, considered a national value under Israeli legislation, is essentially ‘a systemic de-Palestinization of the occupied territory including Jerusalem, intended to permanently change its demographic characteristics and enhance its Jewish component.’

Moussa said that only one state has attempted to justify Israel’s actions by contesting the Palestinians’ title to the occupied territories and justifying Israel’s territorial expansion as the product of a defensive war.

‘Egypt submits that these claims have no basis in fact or in law,’ she added.

She stressed that the territorial status of the West Bank including Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip cannot be lawfully be altered through armed conflict according to the international law.

Moussa warned that Israel’s indefinite occupation amounts to a nullifi
cation and denial of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination.

‘Egypt firmly denounces the ongoing obstruction of the Palestinian people’s inalienable, permanent, and unqualified right to self-determination,’ she stressed.

Moussa dubbed Israel’s prolonged occupation is as ‘illegal’ and an ‘ongoing internationally wrongful act that must be immediately brought to an end.’

Daily Discrimination

Moussa said that the Palestinian people under occupation suffer from institutionalized discrimination and segregation on a daily basis under a dual legal system applying different laws to Palestinians and Israelis.

Moreover, Israeli military orders in the occupied territories entrench racial discrimination between Palestinians and Israeli settlers, she stated.

Moussa highlighted Israel’s de facto measures of racial discrimination including in the areas of detention, criminal justice, housing, land confiscations, and house demolitions.

‘History Judging Us’

During the arguments, Moussa stated
that ‘history will judge us for how we respond today’ at the ICJ.

‘For how much longer do the Palestinian people need to wait before they are able to exercise their legitimate rights under international law? And for how much longer will the UN continue to manage the humanitarian impact of Israeli violations without addressing their root cause?’ she stated.

She noted that the court should advise the UN General Assembly that the Israeli prolonged occupation is ‘per se a continuing violation of international law.’

She added that Israel, as the wrongdoing state, is obliged to make full reparation and compensation by ceasing immediately its lawful occupation of Palestinian territory.

Moussa affirmed that no peace, security, stability, and prosperity can be achieved in the Middle East without upholding justice and the rule of law for Palestinian people.

Source: State Information Service Egypt