The US has advised the Worldwide Court docket of Justice (ICJ) that it mustn’t order the unconditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian territories with out safety ensures.

The ICJ, often known as the World Court docket, is listening to from about 50 international locations all through the week to current their arguments on the difficulty of a nonbinding opinion on the authorized penalties of the Israeli occupation.

Earlier audio system together with South Africa and Saudi Arabia have demanded that Israel finish its occupation of the Palestinian territories, which got here after its victory within the six-day Arab-Israeli conflict in 1967.

However on Wednesday, the appearing authorized adviser for the US State Division, Richard Visek, took a distinct strategy.

“The courtroom mustn’t discover that Israel is legally obligated to instantly and unconditionally withdraw from occupied territory,” Visek stated.

“Any motion in direction of Israel’s withdrawal from the West Financial institution and Gaza requires consideration of Israel’s very actual safety wants.

“We have been all reminded of these safety wants on October 7, and so they persist. Regrettably, these wants have been ignored by most of the individuals,” he added, referring to the Hamas assault on Israel that killed at the very least 1,139 individuals, in accordance with an Al Jazeera tally based mostly on official Israeli figures. Round 250 others have been seized as hostages.

Israel responded to the assault with a devastating assault on Gaza that has killed greater than 29,000 individuals, in accordance with Palestinian authorities. The assault has displaced greater than 80 p.c of the inhabitants and diminished massive components of the territory to rubble.

The ICJ’s 15-judge panel has been requested to evaluate Israel’s “occupation, settlement and annexation … together with measures geared toward altering the demographic composition, character and standing of the Holy Metropolis of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of associated discriminatory laws and measures”.

Visek urged the judges to stay to the established United Nations framework for a two-state resolution.

“It can be crucial that the courtroom retains in thoughts the stability the [UN] Safety Council and the Basic Meeting have decided is important to offer the perfect probability for sturdy peace”, he stated.

The tackle comes after the US vetoed a draft decision calling for a direct ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on the UN Safety Council on Tuesday.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the UN, stated the decision was rejected as a result of it may have an effect on peace negotiations on securing a brief ceasefire and change of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners by the US, Egypt, Israel and Qatar.

Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, Marwan Bishara, stated on Wednesday that the US’s authorized arguments on the ICJ have been “sober and complicated, however this doesn’t make them any much less dishonest”.

“The general message of the American consultant is that the courtroom must be on the service of the American and Israeli negotiation technique – not that the American and Israeli negotiation technique ought to abide by the courtroom’s ruling,” he stated.

“However a World Court docket can’t be on the disposal of the US. It’s in any other case unclear why a possible ruling by the courtroom that the occupation is prohibited could be a burden on the negotiations,” Bishara stated.

Egypt, which is concerned in a mediator position within the negotiations between Israel and Hamas, delivered its stance on the legality of Israel’s occupation on Wednesday and referred to as it a “continued violation of worldwide legislation”.

“The implications of Israel’s extended occupation are clear and there will be no peace, no stability, no prosperity with out upholding the rule of legislation,” stated Egyptian international ministry authorized adviser Jasmine Moussa.

Russia and France additionally introduced their arguments on Wednesday.

Vladimir Tarabrin, Russia’s ambassador to the Netherlands, stated Israeli settlements within the occupied West Financial institution have been in breach of worldwide legislation and “are opposite to the precept of inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by power.”

He added that the continued Israeli occupation was blocking Palestinians’ proper to self-determination and {that a} two-state resolution with an “impartial and viable” Palestinian state could be the easiest way to deliver “an finish to Israel’s violations, creating ensures of their non-repetition and redressing the harm”.

France’s consultant, Diego Colas, additionally condemned Israel’s settlement coverage and stated Paris would “by no means recognise the unlawful annexation of territories within the West Financial institution”.

Israel, which isn’t collaborating within the oral hearings, submitted a written contribution describing the questions the courtroom had been requested as “prejudicial” and “tendentious”.

Israel has lengthy argued that the territories are formally occupied on the idea that they have been captured from Jordan and Egypt within the 1967 conflict relatively than from a sovereign Palestine.


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