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News > Palestine

Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, and Jordan Reject Violence in Gaza

  • Palestinian boy collects a blanket from the rubble caused by Israeli bombings, Gaza, Feb. 22, 2024.

    Palestinian boy collects a blanket from the rubble caused by Israeli bombings, Gaza, Feb. 22, 2024. | Photo: X/ @Timesofgaza

Published 22 February 2024

They denounced the effects of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories at the Hague hearings.

On Thursday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague continued its hearings on "The Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem."


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The ongoing ICJ hearings are the consequence of a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNSC) in 2022. Once they conclude, the Hague Court will issue a non-binding opinion. Below are summaries of the interventions of some countries.

Iran: Occupation started in 1948 

At the ICJ hearings, Iran was represented Reza Najafi, Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs. Describing the situation in Gaza, he said “we remain a turning point in the history of mankind”, where “the court can set the ground” to save thousands of lives and “contribute to self-determination”.

In difference to other speaker who demanded to establish Palestine in the borders of 1967, the Iranian representative said occupation had started “with the illegal formation of Israeli occupying regime in 1948 instead of the former British mandate of Palestine”, displacing more than 700.000 Palestinians.

After describing the genocidal and apartheid regime Israel has established, Najafi stated that the “inaction or insufficient action is one of the main causes of prolonged occupation”. Najafi also hinted to the “stalemate caused by a certain permanent member” of the Security Council.

Concluding, the Iranian representative reiterated the “long-standing position” of Iran that the only legal, practical, democratic and just method to effectively realize the inherent right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is to hold a national referendum in the Palestine.”

As Iran does not recognize the state of Israel, Palestine here refers to its territory of 1948.

Iraq: Israel commits war crimes and genocide

Hayder Albarrak, the head of the Foreign Affairs Ministry's Legal Department, spoke on behalf of Iraq. Similar to the Iranian representative, Albarrak also stated that the “tragedy of the country called Palestine and the ordeal of its people began in 1948”.

“The Israeli occupying entity adopts multiple practices that rise to the level of genocide, referring specifically to the Convention of on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide from 1948”, Albarrak stated.

The Iraqi representative also stated that the “barbaric acts committed by the occupying Israeli entity, the airstrikes and rockets targeting civilians constitute war crimes. The Israeli occupying entity must be held accountable.” 

Ireland: European Union should “review trade relationship” with settlers

Ireland's Attorney General Rossa Fanning emphasized that his country “is committed to the global order based on respect for international law”, considering the matter of “profound concern for the Irish government”.

The Irish representative condemned the attacks launched by Hamas but also stated that in Ireland’s view, Israel’s self-defense “exceeds the limits of international law” by goşng beyond the “necessary and proportionate”.

“This is manifest from the spiraling death toll, the extensive destruction of property, including homes throughout Gaza, the displacement of up to 2 million people, and the ensuing humanitarian catastrophe”, Fanning said.

“Israel is and has been engaged in a process of annexation of land for decades”, said the Irish representative, pointing out especially illegal settlement activities. Fanning stated that Israeli security forces “in some instances even participated” in settlers’ violence.

The Irish Attorney General warned other states “not to recognize the illegal situation”, “not to render aid in maintaining the situation” and to “cooperate to bring the serious breach to an end”.

In the case of Ireland, this meant within the European Union “to review their trading relationship with the settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, Fanning concluded.

The text reads, "Turkish channel TRT's digital simulation of the four and a half months of bombings in Gaza."

Japan: Insisting on the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force

Tomohiro Mikanagi, Director General, International Legal Affairs Bureau/Legal Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law, University of Oxford represented the government of Japan.

The Japanese presented focused “exclusively on the issues relating to the acquisition of territory by force”, Mikanagi said.

“Japan is of the view that due consideration should be given to the relevant resolutions”, said Mikanagi, quoting these demanded “withdrawal of Israel-armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”.

Discussing the argument of self-defense, Akande concluded “the aim of self-defense is limited to defending the attack state and its people. Thus, even when a state has suffered an armed attack, it can never be proportionate to permanently deprive a people of its territory”. Akande implicitly rejected Israel’s expansion without naming the actor.

He finished his presentation sating that for Japan, the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force is an important norm.

Jordan: Israel creates “global religious tension”

On behalf of Jordan spoke Ayman Safadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmad Ziadat, Justice Minister, and Michael Wood, legal counsel.

“The Israeli aggression in Gaza is shattering thousands of lives, destroying a community of 2.3 million Palestinians who have already been suffering the oppression of occupation”, began Safadi his words.

“Palestinians are dying by Israel’s war. This aggression has to end immediately. Those responsible for it must face justice. No country must be above law”, said the Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan.

“There can be no peace until the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination by the establishment and global recognition of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital”, the Jordanian representative said.

Minister of Justice, Ahmat Ziadat referred on the situation in Jerusalem, where Jordan is the custodian of the holy sites of Muslims and Christians.

Detailing Israel’s attacks on and destruction of these holy sites, Ziadat warned these not only violate international law but also “inflame global religious tension and create confrontation along religious lines”.

Legal counsel Michael Wood elaborated on the international law regarding occupation and concluded “Israel must end its occupied of the whole of the occupied Palestinian territory, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza”.

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