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Russia slams deadly US leadership in Arabia

The United State’s determination to monopolise leadership in the Middle East has predictably resulted in the tragedy that is the Occupied Territories in Palestine, Vladimir Tarabrin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of the Netherlands has told the International Court of Justice.

He expressed sympathy for Israelis killed on October 7 and said Russia was united with Tel Aviv in fighting terrorism and Nazism.

“Having said this, we are convinced that the tragic events of 7 October cannot justify the collective punishment of more than 2 million Gazans. We cannot accept the logic of those officials in Israel and some Western countries who try to defend the indiscriminate violence against civilians by referring to Israel’s duty to protect its nationals.

“Outbreaks of violence will inevitably occur again until the Palestinian people, having suffered for decades from injustice, exercises its right to establish an independent State … within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“Attempts to put the conflict into a low-intensity mode instead of a comprehensive settlement have time and again provoked eruptions in the occupied territories. The current wave of violence is no exception. It was preceded by a persistent policy of the United States and its allies aimed at freezing the status quo, watering down the political processes and promoting a one-sided vision of a settlement.”

When adopting the resolution in December 2022 calling for a court opinion, the UN General Assembly was “gravely concerned” by “the tensions and violence in the recent period throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. The Assembly also spoke of “the disastrous humanitarian situation and the critical socioeconomic and security situation in the Gaza Strip”

As has been stressed by numerous delegations speaking at these hearings, the situation on the ground has since deteriorated in a dramatic fashion.

He said Russia, of all countries, understands the dangers of terrorism. “We have faced this evil time and again. Let me use this opportunity to reiterate our heartfelt condolences to the Israelis who lost their loved ones in the attack on 7 October. Brutal massacres of innocent people, taking of hostages and other terrorist violence do not have, and cannot have, any justification.

“We have repeatedly condemned such acts. Let me also stress that Russia highly values the stable relations that we enjoy with Israel. We are united by shared history of combating Nazism, as well as by a myriad of present-day human ties.

“Our co-operation is resilient in the face of geopolitical turbulence, and we are committed to its further development.

The “flawed policy” of Washington to exclude all other foreign actors from intervening, predictably, led to a failure that has cost thousands of innocent lives.

“An end to the Israeli occupation” has been identified as a goal for the international community by legally binding resolutions of the Security Council. Israel is accordingly under an obligation to cease its violations of international law and to allow the Palestinian people to establish an independent State. This necessarily means that the occupation must come to an end.

“In 2023, that is, after the present request for an advisory opinion was made, the settlement activities of Israel have gained a record-breaking speed. Thus, according to the latest report of the United Nations Secretary-General, in 2023, plans for more than 24,700 housing units were advanced – approved or tendered. This is more than double the 11,700 units in 2022, which in itself was a remarkable figure.

“During the current wave of violence, we have witnessed public statements by Israeli cabinet members announcing plans to resume settlement activities in the Gaza Strip. Thus, on 28 January 2024, at a conference in West Jerusalem, cabinet ministers openly called for deportation of Palestinians from Gaza and presented a map with 21 settlement blocs.

“One cannot help noting that the event was held two days after this Court indicated provisional measures in the South Africa v. Israel case.”

The Security Council and the ICJ have found the settlements have no legal validity “and are an obstacle to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”.

Israeli settlements are contrary to the principle of inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by force. They also run counter to the prohibition of transfer and deportation of population of an occupied territory. The settlement activities are aggravated by numerous other violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

“Israel shall terminate its breaches of international law. It must, in particular, cease all settlement activities and all other activities that impede reaching a final-status agreement.

Israel and Palestine are under an obligation to conduct, in good faith and without delay, negotiations aimed at reaching a final-status agreement. All States and international organizations are under an obligation to contribute to creating conditions for such negotiations. The agreement thus reached shall result in the implementation by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination and emergence of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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