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Jordan's UN envoy: Israel does not have the right to self-defence in the occupied territories

October 17, 2023 at 12:16 pm

Mahmoud D. Hmoud, Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations [Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The Jordanian representative to the UN Security Council, Mahmoud Al-Hmoud, said that Israel does not have the right to self-defence, according to international law, within the occupied territories, such as the Gaza Strip, and it is unfortunate that many countries continue to claim that it does.

Al-Hmoud explained that according to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel does not have the right to defend itself within the Occupied Palestinian Territory to respond to military attacks in these territories.

Instead, he noted, that the advisory opinion stressed the fact that the occupying force must respect the principles of distinction between military targets and civilians and civilian objects, and not direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects, which is what Israel is doing now. He also noted there must be proportionality between the response and the occupation must take the necessary measures to protect civilians.

Al-Hmoud continued:

Israel does not respect the minimum humanitarian standards, and the statements of its senior political and military leaders indicate that what it is committing and what it will commit will violate every legal, moral and humanitarian prohibition against a defenceless people whose calls for help are not responded to by the international community.

The international community, he added, must deal with the war on Gaza based on one standard, condemning the killing of civilians in Gaza as it condemned the killing of civilians in Israel, as civilian victims are victims wherever they are.

He further stressed that “Israel will not attain peace and security if security and freedom are not provided to the Palestinian people in an independent State with occupied Jerusalem as its capital within the borders of 4 June 1967.”

1967 Occupation, Naksa - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

1967 Occupation, Naksa – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Security Council failed to pass a Russian draft resolution for an immediate ceasefire.

The draft resolution received five votes in favour, while four countries voted against the resolution, and six abstained.

The Russian representative to the Security Council, Vassily Nebenzia, said that the draft resolution condemns “death of Israeli civilians and the deaths of civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

After voting on the draft resolution, and declaring its failure after not obtaining sufficient votes, he said that the Western countries’ delegations “basically stomped on global hopes for the Council to put an end to violence” and that this was for “purely selfish and political interests.”

READ: Jordan, Palestine leaders call for Gaza humanitarian corridors amid Israel attacks