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African Union says international community has failed Palestinian people

February 27, 2024 at 2:09 pm

Hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, continue to address the legal consequences of Israeli actions in the Palestinian territory, on February 26, 2024 [Selman Aksünger – Anadolu Agency]

The African Union has told the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that the international community “has failed the Palestinian people”, and called for an end to Israel’s impunity and for the occupation state to be held to account for its crimes, Anadolu has reported. The AU’s statement was made in the oral presentation given by its legal team on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

“History may judge the credibility of international law based on the results of these cases,” warned lawyer Mohamed Hilal. “The international community has disappointed the Palestinian people, but the African Union believes that justice will be achieved in this court.” He stressed the need for the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination.

Public hearings at the World Court on Israel’s occupation of Palestine concluded on Monday after a week of oral statements by dozens of countries and three international organisations. Along with Palestine, 49 other states, including Turkiye, the US, the UK, France and the Netherlands, and three international organisations – the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the African Union – presented oral statements in The Hague.

The hearings started on Monday last week following the UN General Assembly’s request for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

South Africa brought a genocide case against Israel to the world court in late December and asked for emergency measures to end the bloodshed in Gaza. In January, the court ordered Israel to take “all measures within its power” to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza, but fell short of ordering a ceasefire. The ICJ also ordered Israel to take “immediate and effective” measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip.

A cross-border incursion by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas on 7 October is said by Israel to have killed 1,200 people, but it has since been claimed that many hundreds were actually killed by helicopters and tanks of the Israel occupation forces.

Israel’s ensuing and ongoing military offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza has killed or wounded 100,000 Palestinians, and pushed 85 per cent of the population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine. According to the UN, at least 60 per cent of the enclave’s civilian infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed by the Israeli bombardment and invasion. Despite an international outcry, Israel now plans a ground attack on Rafah, which holds 1.4 million Palestinian IDPs.

For the first time in its history, Israel is being tried before the ICJ, the highest judicial body in the UN, on charges of committing the crime of “genocide” against Palestinians in Gaza.

READ: Hamas calls on ICJ to stop Israel’s war on Gaza