Israel must cease violating international laws and Palestinian rights, says Malaysia

THE HAGUE: Israel must first cease its ongoing violations of international laws and every fundamental element of the Palestinian people's right to self-determination, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

Delivering Malaysia's oral submission during public hearings over Israel's actions at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Netherlands on Thursday (local time), Mohamad said Israel must cease all its relevant "policies and practices" in Palestine and withdraw immediately from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).

Secondly, he said Israel must offer assurances and guarantees of non-repetition of its violations and actions.

"And third, Israel is under an obligation to offer full reparation. This means that it must provide both actual and juridical restitution, including the annulment or repeal of all offending legislative and regulatory measures it has adopted for the OPT," he said.

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Israel must offer compensation for all material and moral damage caused by the breach of the right to self-determination for Palestinians, to the extent that this is not made good by restitution.

More than 50 countries are presenting their arguments on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation in Palestine during the public hearings that began on Monday.

Mohamad began the presentation first by dealing briefly with the Court’s jurisdiction and its discretion to respond to the request of the General Assembly, and then on Malaysia’s position on the legality of the "policies and practices” of Israel in the OPT. In the final part, he outlined the legal consequences that arose for Israel, all other states, and for the United Nations, respectively, from the flagrant denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.

Malaysia's submission underscored that Israel's "policies and practices” are nothing but the means by which Israel is exercising its control over the OPT, the means by which it is enforcing its occupation.

The submission also listed the four core substantive elements of the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people - the rights to territorial integrity, the rights to territorial unity and the protection of its integrity, the rights to permanent soverignty over natural wealth and resources, and the freedom to pursue economic, social and cultural development.

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The legal consequences arising for Israel from its serious breach of the right to self-determination are, in principle, no more burdensome than the legal consequences arising for any state that has committed even a trivial breach of international law.

All states must cooperate to bring to an end through lawful means the serious breach of the right to self-determination, and consequently the unlawful occupation of the Palestinian territory, he said.

"Further, all states must not recognise as lawful the situation created by the serious breach of the right to self-determination, that is, the occupation of the Palestinian territory," he added.

Finally, he said all states must not render aid or assistance to Israel in maintaining the unlawful denial of the Palestinian’s right to self-determination, thus the occupation of the Palestinian territory.

Malaysia also stressed on the obligation of all states to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and to halt any financial or military support to Israel that aids or assists in the denial of the right to self-determination and the unlawful occupation.

"As for the legal consequences that arise for the United Nations (UN), these are none other than the obligation to pursue with vigour its "permanent responsibility” towards the question of Palestine, including its responsibility to ensure UNRWA’s continued effective functioning," he said.

Mohamad stated that the UN must continue to serve as a forum of institutionalised cooperation for states working towards fulfilling their secondary obligations of bringing to an end the ongoing violation of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the unlawful occupation of the Palestinian territory.

Mohamad 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.

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.

Israel has gone on the offensive at Gaza Strip since Oct 7, killing more than 29,000 Palestians and causing mass destruction and shortages of necessities leading to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. - Bernama

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