Israel's action in the name of self-defence not justified: Bangladesh at ICJ

Bangladesh's ambassador to the Netherlands, M Riaz Hamidullah, presented Bangladesh's arguments at the ICJ hearingCollected

What Israel is doing in the name of self-defence in Gaza, Palestine, cannot be justified. Israel's occupation of Palestine is a violation of international law. Thousands and thousands of civilians, including children, are being killed, homes are being destroyed, food supply is being obstructed. This is an instance of ethnic cleansing. Israel  must end this occupation by withdrawing their troops from Palestine territory and demolishing the structures they have erected on the territory they have occupied.

Bangladesh made these observations while taking part in the hearing of the International Court of Justice regarding the Palestine territory occupied by Israel. Ten countries including Bangladesh took part in the second day of the hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing began on Monday at The Hague in the Netherlands at  the highest court of the United Nations. The hearing was initiated at the call of the UN General Assembly. During the hearing, over 50 countries and 3 organisations will present their arguments in phases. The hearing will continue up till 23 February. This hearing has no connection with the cases filed by South Africa with the ICJ concerning the genocide in Gaza.

Bangladesh's ambassador to the Netherlands M Riaz Hamidullah presented Bangladesh's arguments at the hearing yesterday, Tuesday. He said, the killing of thousands of civilians including children in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territory, the destruction of homes and obstruction of food and water supplies, is an instance of ethnic cleansing. The UN must consider taking further action to bring an end to Israel's occupation of the territory. Measures must also be taken to bring an end to the racial hatred of Israel against the Palestinians.

M Riaz Hamidullah explained the pertinence of Bangladesh's participation  in the ICJ hearing. He particularly highlighted the liberation war of 1971 and Bangladesh constitutional and legal stand.

Riaz Hamidullah said, Israel's ongoing operations in Gaza are an example of shameful degradation in modern times. The steady increase in food, water, fuel and drug shortages was creating fear of a human crisis among the 2.3 million people on that small territory. The various agencies of UN and other organisations have been sounding warnings in this regard.

The Bangladesh ambassador put forward certain specific proposals to be implemented by Israel and the international community for a resolution to the situation. He said, Israel must refrain from taking up discriminatory laws and actions  that obstruct the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. Israel must withdraw their troops and demolish the structures they have raised in the occupied territory. He said, they must compensate for the loss damage to lives and property of the Palestinians and ensure that there is no repetition of the destructive actions carried out so far. All states must end any legal obstructions to the right to self-determination and accept the prohibition on using force to acquire territory.

The South African ambassador to the Netherlands, Vusimuzi Madonsela said, the Palestinians are being subject to apartheid much more extreme that the apartheid faced by the South African people before 1994

The Bangladeshi ambassador said, it will not be right for the states to support and aid Israel's unjust actions in Palestine territory, including in East Jerusalem. International efforts are essential to ensure that Israel adheres to international law. He also said the UN Security Council must also consider further measures to bring an end to Israeli occupation on Palestinian land. It is imperative to take immediate action to end racial hatred.

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Palestinians victims of extreme apartheid

At the start of the hearing on Tuesday, South Africa first presented its arguments. The South African ambassador to the Netherlands, Vusimuzi Madonsela said, the Palestinians are being subject to apartheid much more extreme that the apartheid faced by the South African people before 1994.

Vusimuzi Madonsela said, a South Africans, we can feel even deeper the inhuman discriminatory policies and steps of Israel against the Palestinians. The Palestinians are being subject to even worse institutionalised discrimination that the blacks were in our country. He said that the racial hatred against the Israelis must definitely be ended.

Israel must be put on trial

Saudi Arabia's high commissioner to the Netherlands, Ziad al-Atiyah told the hearing that Israel is carrying out genocide against the Palestinians. It is violating international law. Israel must be placed on trial for this.

Ziad al-Atiyah said Israel does not consider the Palestinians to be human.  They behave with the Palestinians as disposable items to be discarded after use.

The Saudi ambassador said, by expanding its unlawful settlements and evicting the Palestinians, Israel is making it impossible for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

On the first day on the hearing on Monday, only Palestine presented its arguments. Yesterday the arguments were presented by Bangladesh, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Chile, Belize, Bolivia and Brazil. Canada was also supposed to make its presentation yesterday but at the last moment declared that it would not take part in the hearing.

In December 2022 the UN General Assembly called upon ICJ to carry out a hearing regarding Israeli occupation, its illegal settlements and underhand efforts to merge Palestinians territory with Israel territory. ICJ's directives and opinion were sought regarding the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. During the ongoing assault by Israeli forces in Palestine, over 29,000 Palestinians have been killed, leading to this hearing in ICJ.

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