Palestinian FM accuses Israel of ‘genocide,’ ‘apartheid’ at ICJ hearing on control of West Bank

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki (center) and PA ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour, right, take their seats at the United Nations' highest court which opened hearings in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024.  (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki (center) and PA ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour, right, take their seats at the United Nations' highest court which opened hearings in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki blasts Israel’s 56-year rule in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its treatment of the Palestinians more broadly, in opening remarks at a hearing of the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of committing the “crimes” of “colonialism and apartheid” against the Palestinian people.

Israel’s decades-long control over the Palestinians has given them a choice of “displacement, subjugation, or death” amounting to “ethnic cleansing, apartheid, or genocide,” alleges Maliki.

“A Palestinian can spend their entire lifetime as a refugee, denied dignity and the right to return home… under constant threat, have their loved ones thrown in Israeli jail and held there indefinitely, and their land stolen, colonized, annexed,” says Maliki.

He requests that the court “declare that the Israeli occupation is illegal” and must end “immediately, totally and unconditionally.”

Israel holds that the issue of control over the West Bank and East Jerusalem is a political, not a legal, one and must be resolved within the framework of bilateral and international agreements and resolutions on the matter, including the Oslo Accords, and cannot be determined by a court ruling.

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