Tok Mat to participate in ICJ advisory opinion procedure on Palestine issue

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan is in the Hague, Netherlands, to participate in the public hearings on the request for the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) Advisory Opinion on the issue of Palestine.

Mohamad, in a statement issued here on Tuesday, said he is leading the Malaysian delegation at the ICJ regarding the request for an Advisory Opinion on the legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem.

He is scheduled to deliver Malaysia’s oral submission at the Peace Palace in the Hague on Feb 22 at about 5.10pm local time or Feb 23 at about 12.10am in Malaysia.

"Malaysia is participating in this Advisory Opinion procedure with the aim of assisting the ICJ in the examination of the legal questions put to it by the General Assembly," he said.

Mohamad said the request for the Advisory Opinion emanates from the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) Resolution 77/247 adopted on Dec 30, 2022, where Malaysia co-sponsored and voted in favour of the resolution.

The Advisory Opinion is a separate procedure from the application by South Africa to institute proceedings against Israel, which was filed before the ICJ on Dec 29, 2023, he said.

He pointed out that while the South African application was filed over alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, particularly since Oct 7, 2023, the Advisory Opinion derives from the request by the UNGA.

The Advisory Opinion is an important process to obtain legal advice from the ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the UN, in accordance with Article 96 of the UN Charter and Article 65 of the ICJ Statute, he said.

"The Advisory Opinion carries great legal weight and moral authority and contributes to the elucidation and development of international law, thereby to the strengthening of peaceful relations between states," he said.

This is the second time that Malaysia has been involved in the ICJ Advisory Opinion procedure in support of Palestine.

In 2004, Malaysia participated in the request for the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory, where the court found that such action by Israel was contrary to international law.

According to Mohamad, in the current Advisory Opinion proceeding, the General Assembly posed several questions for ICJ to render its opinion including the legal consequences arising from Israel’s violation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. It also posed questions on the policies and practices of Israel affecting the legal status of the occupation and the legal consequences that arise for all states and the United Nations.

Before the upcoming public hearings, Mohamad said Malaysia participated in the written proceedings by submitting a written statement, which was deposited with the ICJ on July 25, 2023.

Mohamad said participation in the current Advisory Opinion procedure signifies Malaysia’s ongoing concerted efforts at various multilateral platforms including the UN Security Council, Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) and Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) in support of Palestine and to bring Israel to justice.

"As a strong advocate for Palestine, our presence at the ICJ is also important in joining forces with other like-minded countries in defending humanity," he said, adding that it was also in line with the strong leadership of Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who has been a vocal proponent for the rights of Palestinians at various multilateral fora.

He said Anwar has constantly asserted the moral responsibility of the international community to address the atrocities committed by Israel against innocent Palestinians, especially women and children.

Mohamad reiterated Malaysia’s long-standing position that the Palestinians deserve their own independent and sovereign state based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"Malaysia remains committed, within its means and capabilities, to finding a lasting solution for the Palestine-Israel conflict, through all internationally recognised platforms," he said.

He also assured that Malaysia will also continue efforts to urge the admission of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations. - Bernama

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Malaysia , Mohamad Hasan , ICJ , Advisory Opinion


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