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Jordan at ICJ denounces Israeli crimes in Gaza, unilateral measures in West Bank

By JT - Feb 23,2024 - Last updated at Feb 23,2024

Ahmad Ziadat, minister of justice (center), and Ayman Safadi (right), deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of, attend a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, on Thursday (AFP photo)

AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi led on Thursday the Jordanian delegation to present the legal arguments of Jordan before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the advisory opinion sought by the UN General Assembly. 

The public hearings started Monday in The Hague following the UN General Assembly's request for an advisory opinion under Resolution No. 247/77, issued on December 30, 2022, on the legal consequences arising from policies and practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Addressing the court, Safadi said that Israeli is challenging the provisional measures ordered by the ICJ and is moving ahead with its genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people.

Sadafi said Israeli has killed thousands of Palestinians in Gaza and is proceeding with its relentless war against the strip and violations of the international law. "Perpetrators of this aggression have to be brought to justice."

He also said that Israel is denying the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and is using its unilateral measures to impose new realities on the ground in the occupied territories, increasing the settler units which, he added, have increased from 280,000 in 1993 to 70,000 today. 

In press statements after the court session, Safadi said, "No words can describe the barbarity of this aggression … more than 29,000 innocent Palestinians have been killed and over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced to face the indignity of living in overcrowded shelters."

Justice Minister Ahmed Ziadat presented a legal argument which contained an overview of Jordan’s role and the Hashemite’s responsibilities regarding the Islamic and Christian sanctities in Jerusalem for over 100 years and a summary of Israeli violations of the holy sites.

Zyadat said that Israeli assaults on Islamic and Christian holy places violate principles of international law, including Articles 27 and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

International lawyer Michael Wood, representing the specialised legal team, presented the Kingdom’s legal argument, which included six main points, confirming that the advisory opinion would not undermine peace negotiations, as some claim. 

He emphasised,” Israel must respect the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. “ 

His argument also confirmed that Israel’s policies and practices violate international law

Wood said that Israel’s annexation of Palestinian territories constitutes a serious breach of fundamental legal principles, and its discriminatory policies violate basic rules of international law, stressing that the occupation itself is illegal and must stop.

On July 24, 2023, the Kingdom had submitted a written pleading to the ICJ in which it expressed unwavering support for the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Jordan at the time called for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian along the lines of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In 2004, Jordan had pleaded before the Court regarding the advisory opinion requested by the UN General Assembly on the legal consequences of constructing the separation wall in the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

The ICJ issued an opinion at that time declaring the wall’s illegality, taking into account the compelling legal evidence provided by Jordan, which demonstrated the unlawful nature of its construction.

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