NEW YORK (Middle East Eye) – The United Nations’ decolonization committee has adopted a draft Palestinian resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Zionist regime’s occupation of Palestinian lands since 1967.
The measure was welcomed by Palestinians and rejected by the Zionist regime.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in a statement that 98 countries supported the resolution, 52 abstained and 17 voted against.
Al-Maliki welcomed the vote and described the resolution as a “diplomatic and legal breakthrough” that would “open a new era for holding the Zionist regime accountable for its war crimes”.
The resolution will now go to the 193-member General Assembly for a final vote before the end of the year.
The resolution, approved at the UN headquarters in New York, asks the ICJ to “urgently” weigh in on the regime’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory”, which it said violated the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. The resolution referred to Palestinian lands occupied by the regime since the 1967 war: the West Bank, Gaza and East Al-Quds.
It also referred to policies aimed at “altering the demographic composition, character and status of the holy city of Al-Quds”. The resolution asks the court for an opinion on how these Israeli policies and practices “affect the legal status of the occupation, and what are the legal consequences that arise for all states and the United Nations from this status”.
The ICJ in 2004 judged that a wall the occupying regime had built, mainly inside the occupied West Bank and East Al-Quds, was “contrary to international law”.
After the vote, the Palestinian UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour, cited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the annual General Assembly meeting in September that urged for the mobilizing of “all the components of our international law-based order, including international justice”.
Mansour thanked the countries that supported the resolution and said that “nothing justifies standing with Israeli occupation and annexation, its displacement and dispossession of our people”.
“Our people are entitled to freedom,” he said. “This occupation will need to end.”
“There will come a day, a day when our people will bring the flag of Palestine over the churches of Al-Quds and to the mosques of Al-Quds and Haram al-Sharif,” Mansour added.