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News > Palestine

Spain and the Maldives Call for an End to Israel's Impunity

  • Israeli bombings targeted a house near Kuwait Hospital in Rafah, Feb. 26, 2024.

    Israeli bombings targeted a house near Kuwait Hospital in Rafah, Feb. 26, 2024. | Photo: X/ @ForsigeNews

Published 26 February 2024

The Hague Court concluded its proceedings on the consequences arising from the Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories.

With its public hearings on the sixth day, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concluded its public proceedings on "The Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem."


The Hague Hearings Make Visible Injustices Against Palestinians

These proceedings were demanded in December 2022 by a resolution from the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The court was called to give an non-binding opinion.

In the last part of today's hearing, Spain and the Maldives condemned Israel's occupation and demanded an end to the impunity the Zionist state enjoys before the international law.

For its part, Fiji thus joined countries such as the United Kingdom that proposed the Hague Court should decline the answer.

Spain: Establishing embassies in Jerusalem is threat to world peace

On behalf of Spain spoke Emilio Pin Godos, Deputy Head of the International Legal Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Santiago Ripol Carulla, the Head of the Office.

Godos made an evaluation of international law in regard to the Palestinian conflict and emphasized that, despite its withdrawal 2005, Israel has not terminated the Gaza occupation.

It “has retained effective control over the territory through its control of airspace, space, territorial sea, and external land boundaries”, the Spanish representative said.

In addition to other international laws, Godos stated that Israel also had violated the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Santiago Ripol Carulla, the second Spanish speaker, focused on state responsibility in the context of Palestine. Stating that United Nations resolutions and condemnations of Israel’s policies had lacked to produce sanctions, Carulla proposed what specifically the obligation of states to cooperate against these policies mean.

Remembering that states are called not to take any measures that would recognition of illegal change of status, the Spanish representative “Establishing diplomatic missions in the Holy City is a serious threat to the stability of peace in the region and the world.”

Fiji: Court should decline to give opinion

On behalf of Fiji spoke Filipo Tarakinikini, Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He began his speech emphasizing the right of Palestinians to self-determination and the “right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist as a sovereign state with secure borders”.

The speaker from Fiji positively confirmed what others had criticized: the definition of Israel as a “Jewish state”, although an important part of its citizenship is non-Jewish.

Resembling again other countries’ objection to the court, Tarakinikini also stated that “the only way to achieve truly sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinian people, indeed between any neighbors, is through mutual respect”.

In that endeavor, he pointed to the existing “legal framework”, namely the among others the Oslo Accords which “requires direct negotiations”. These contain a specific dispute resolution that, said the speaker from Fiji, “do not permit either party unilaterally to commence external legal proceedings”.

Tarakinikini, who had participated personally in peace keeping missions in the Middle East, also criticized the demand of Israel’s “unconditional withdrawal”, saying this would “circumvent the peace process and the agreements” – the United States had argued similarly that the framework was “peace for land”, concluding that from Israeli “giving away land” without “getting peace” was a violation of the process.

Tarakinikini called the court to “exercise its judicial discretion not to render an advisory opinion”, in other words, decline the demand of the General Assembly.

“The court has been presented in the proceedings with a distinctly one-sided narrative, said the representative from Fiji, and claimed in regard to fact finding that the court “cannot simply defer to the reports of United Nations bodies”.

He also considered “highly problematic” that the court was asked to argue about the policies of one party to the exclusion of the other. Fiji thus joined countries such as the United Kingdom that had proposed the court should decline the answer.

The Maldives: Israel deprives of the right to water

On behalf of the Maldives spoke legal counsel Amy Sander who focused in her analysis Israel’s violation of international laws specifically on the issue of water resources.

“Many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip simply have, I use the court's own words, no access to potable water”, she said, and added this occurred on a “discriminatory basis”.

In the West Bank, use of vital groundwaters is marred by grossly inequitable allocations between Israelis and Palestinians”, continued Sander and added “Disruption of vital infrastructure, with Israel demolishing sanitation structures and pipelines”.

The Maldives’ representatives also mentioned that Israel’s policies violate international laws regarding public health and hygiene as well as the general right to water.

The systematic discrimination’s “The impact on women and children is notably egregious, with the dearth of clean water, an acute crisis for mothers trying to feed their babies” said Sanders, who demanded Israel “must dismantle the discriminatory regime concerning water”.

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