The United Nations Assembly

More than 90 countries signed a statement last week condemning Israel’s decision to punish Palestine after the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution asking the International Court of Justice to recommend legal consequences tied to Israel’s 55-year-old occupation and annexation of Palestinian territories.

The UN body wants the ICJ to consider Israel’s occupation of territories like Gaza and East Jerusalem and issue a non-binding advisory opinion on if the occupation is legal under international law.

Israel has already dismissed any ruling from the court and called the request a farce. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the move is a direct response to “the Palestinian Authority’s decision to wage political and legal war against the State of Israel.”

Israel went on to financially choke Palestinians by withholding $39 million from the Palestinian Authority and transferred the funds to a program that benefits the Israeli families said to have been victims of Palestinian militant attacks. Israel also ended VIP travel privileges for prominent Palestinians. 

Netanyahu said these measures targeted the “extreme anti-Israel” step at the UN.

The countries who signed the statement expressed dismay over the Israeli government’s move to “impose punitive measures against the Palestinian people, leadership, and civil society.”

They said the statement has nothing to do with their positions on the settlement, and focused solely on Israel’s retaliation. 

“As member states of the UN, we reconfirm our unwavering support for the ICJ and international law as the cornerstone of our international order, as well as our commitment to multilateralism,” the statement read. 

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on Netanyahu’s hardline government that is seen as a threat to the Palestinian people and the tenuous peace in the region. (See “UN TAKES TO RULE ON ISRAEL SETTLEMENTS OF PALESTINIANS TERRITORIES” 10 Jan 2023, “LARGE-SCALE PROTESTS BREAK OUT IN ISRAEL OVER NETANYAHU’S ‘REFORM’ PLANS” 17 Jan 2023, and “NETANYAHU’S COALITION MAKES DEAL WITH CONVICTED RACIST TO STAMP DOWN PALESTINIANS” (29 Nov 2022.)

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian UN ambassador, warned that Israel’s new government has already laid out its plans to increase the amount of settlements.

“It does not recognize our rights anywhere, and proclaims a right for its settlers everywhere,” he said.

Mansour said peace is still possible, but there needs to be an outside intervention to stand up to the “supremacists.”

He said Palestinians find themselves in the “absurd” position “where impunity is enjoyed by those who violate the law and collective punishment is endured by those entitled to its protection.”

‘Deep Concern’

Eli Cohen, the Israeli foreign minister, rejected the statement and Gilad Erdan, Israel’s UN ambassador, said the Palestinians were drafting a “poisonous” resolution with the “sole purpose of destroying Israel as the Jewish state,” the Associated Press reported. 

“This is a meaningless declarative statement and every country that signed it only added fuel to the fire of Palestinian incitement and terror, and removed any chance of reconciliation,” he said.

The statement was signed by 24 out of the 27 EU countries, including those that The Jerusalem Post noted are “enormously supportive of Israel,” including Germany.

TRENDPOST: While the Western media continually chastises Russia for its war against Ukraine and its intent to occupy Ukraine, those who note Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land are denounced as being “anti-Semites.”

In the 1967 six-day war, Israel invaded and seized Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, and the Syrian Golan Heights, expelling some 300,000 Palestinians from their homes, while gaining stolen territory that was three and a half times its original size.

Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. They violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which states, “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

The UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice, and the High Contracting Parties to the Convention have all affirmed that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies, that this is occupied territory, and Israeli settlements there are illegal.

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