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UN seeks ICJ opinion on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories

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Kabul: The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

The 193-member assembly voted on the resolution on Friday. Eighty-seven countries voted in favor of the resolution against 26 negative votes.

Israel, the US and 24 other members – including the United Kingdom and Germany – voted against the resolution, while France was among the 53 nations that abstained.

The Israeli regime claimed existence in 1948 after occupying huge swathes of Palestinian territories during a Western-backed war. It occupied more land, namely the West Bank, which includes East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip in another such war in 1967.

Ever since, the regime has built hundreds of illegal settlements upon the occupied territories and deployed the most aggressive restraints on Palestinian freedoms there. Tel Aviv withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has been keeping the coastal territory under an all-out land, aerial, and naval siege since a year after it left the enclave.

Palestinian leaders on Saturday welcomed the vote, with senior official Hussein al-Sheikh saying it “reflects the victory of Palestinian diplomacy”.

“The time has come for Israel to be a state subject to law, and to be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against our people,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Via the resolution, the 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 al-Quds.

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