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UN requests a judgement on Israel’s occupation from the World Court.

UN requests for judgement on israel occupation.

The court’s decisions are legally obligatory, but it lacks the authority to carry them out.

UNITED NATIONS: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was consulted on Friday by the 193-member United Nations General Assembly over the legal ramifications of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

In a 1967 conflict, Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians desire for a state. It left Gaza in 2005, but it still maintains border control over the territory along with neighbouring Egypt.

The highest UN tribunal handling disputes between states is the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which has its headquarters in Hague and is frequently referred to as the World Court. Although the ICJ lacks the authority to do so, its decisions are enforceable.

The request for a court opinion on Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories was made in a resolution adopted by the General Assembly with 87 votes in favor. Israel, the United States and 24 other members voted against, while 53 abstained.

“No international body can decide that the Jewish people are ‘occupiers’ in their own homeland. Any decision from a judicial body which receives its mandate from the morally bankrupt and politicized UN is completely illegitimate,” Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan said in a statement ahead of the vote.

Israel’s former Prime Minister Yair Lapid – who was replaced on Thursday by Benjamin Netanyahu – last month urged world leaders to oppose the move, saying that bringing the matter to the court would “only play into the hands of extremists”.

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour noted that the vote came one day after the swearing in of a new hard-right Israeli government that promises to expand Jewish settlements and pursue other policies criticized at home and abroad.

“We trust that, regardless of your vote today, if you believe in international law and peace, you will uphold the opinion of the International Court of Justice when delivered and you will stand up to this Israeli government right now,” Mansour told the General Assembly.

The UN General Assembly asked the ICJ to give an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s “occupation, settlement and annexation … including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”

The UN resolution also asks the ICJ to advise on how those policies and practices “affect the legal status of the occupation” and what legal consequences arise for all countries and the United Nations from this status.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last commented on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2004, finding that an Israeli wall separating the two sides was unconstitutional. Israel disagreed with the decision and charged political bias on the part of the court.