From Self-Determination to Armed Struggle – What Top Diplomats Said at ICJ Hearing Today

Several countries presented strong arguments against Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

On Thursday, February 22, several countries presented strong arguments aimed at demonstrating the dire consequences of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) began on Wednesday, February 19 public hearings into the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967. It is the first time the top UN court has been asked to give an opinion on the matter.

Over the course of six days 52 states and three organizations – the Arab League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and African Union – will present their arguments related to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

These hearings are not linked to the request by South Africa, which, in December 2023, accused Israel of genocide against Palestinians in its ongoing war on the Gaza Strip. 

On Thursday, February 22, several countries presented strong arguments aimed at demonstrating the dire consequences of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. 


Japan reiterated its position that the only way to end the conflict between Israel and Palestine is a two-state solution.

Tokyo “believes a two-state solution for a future independent Palestinian state, living side by side with Israel with peace and dignity, remains the only viable path for both peoples,” Tomohiro Mikanagi, legal advisor at the Foreign Ministry, told the ICJ.


Iraq said that Israeli violations against Palestinians amount to “genocide” during the hearing at the ICJ. 

“We are deeply concerned about the human suffering across Palestine, especially in Gaza, as a result of the barbaric actions of the Israeli occupation against civilians,” Iraqi representative Hayder Shiya Al-Barrak, head of the legal department of the Foreign Ministry, said in an oral argument before the Hague-based court.

“Israeli violations against Palestinians are tantamount to genocide,” he added.


Jordan slammed the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestine as “unlawful” and “inhumane”.

“I stand before you today while the bloody and inhumane evils of the Israeli occupation appear,” Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in an oral argument before the Hague-based court.

“In Gaza, Palestinians are dying due to the Israeli aggression, and they are dying of hunger due to the loss of food and medicine, which Israel continues to prevent from Gaza, in violation of international humanitarian law, and in defiance of the measures ordered by your court,” Safadi added.

“There are no words to describe the barbarity of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip,” Safadi continued. “Half a million Palestinians in Gaza are dying of hunger.”


Iran strongly advocated for Palestinians’ right to self-determination, stating that Israel’s prolonged occupation has made it impossible.

Speaking at the ICJ hearing, Reza Najafi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, said a verdict by the top UN court “can set the ground for saving lives of thousands of innocent women and children and contribute to the legitimate demand of a people deprived of its inherent right to self-determination for decades.”

Iran urged the World Court to remind all UN member states of their obligations under international law, including “not to aid or assist” Israel to continue its “prolonged occupation” of Palestine or practices that “violate the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.”


Israel is and has been engaged in a “process of annexation” of the occupied Palestinian territories, Ireland’s delegation to ICJ said on Thursday.

According to Ireland’s assessment, the evident permanence of the settlements can only be explained by Israel’s intention of annexing the land upon which they are built.

“In our view, the development and expansion of settlements clearly demonstrate that Israel is and has been engaged in a process of annexation of that land for decades,” Ireland’s representative Attorney General Rossa Fanning said during the public hearings at The Hague.


The strongest position, however, came from the Chinese delegation, which advocated for Palestinian right to self-defense by all means.

Addressing the International Court of Justice on Thursday, the Chinese representative said the Palestinians’ use of armed struggle to gain independence from foreign and colonial rule is “legitimate” and “well-founded” in international law.

“In pursuit of the right to self-determination, Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression and complete the establishment of an independent state is (an) inalienable right well founded in international law,” Ma Xinmin told the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Palestinians have Right to Armed Struggle – Chinese Envoy to ICJ (VIDEO)

Citing resolutions by the UN General Assembly, Beijing’s envoy to the top world court said that people struggling for self-determination could use “all available means, including armed struggle.”

“The struggle waged by peoples for their liberation, right to self-determination, including armed struggle against colonialism, occupation, aggression, domination against foreign forces should not be considered terror acts,” Ma stated in his address to the ICJ, citing international conventions.

(Anadolu, PC)

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