The UNGA had adopted a draft resolution last November seeking a legal opinion from the ICJ “on the nature of the existence” of the Israeli occupation.
Qatar has submitted a memorandum to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday calling on the international body to press Israel to halt its illegal occupation of Palestine while compensating Palestinians.
“The memorandum drew the court’s attention to the victims of the ongoing Israeli occupation, namely the children who were killed by this occupation, the men and women whose dignity the occupation crushed, and the refugees it expelled from their homes,” Doha’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Doha also demanded the ICJ “conclude that Israel’s obligations under international law require it to immediately stop its illegal occupation, in addition to providing full compensation for the damage and suffering caused by the occupation.”
Qatar is among a number of other countries, including Oman and China, that submitted similar statements to the international entity. The submissions were made on a deadline previously set by the ICJ for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The upcoming deadline for responses and observations is 25 October, per a previous statement by Palestine’s foreign ministry. However, while the ICJ’s rulings are binding, the bloc does not hold power in passing them.
‘Illegal and racial apartheid regime‘
In its memorandum, Qatar renewed its condemnation of the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine and documented “many examples” of the apartheid regime’s human rights violations and war crimes.
The Gulf nation’s statement noted that the occupation of Palestine “amounts to being an illegal and racial apartheid regime, adding that it was something that cannot be denied.” To date, Qatar has maintained its refusal in normalising with Israel.
Qatar also “warned that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories aims to completely and permanently deprive the brotherly Palestinian people of their inherent right to self-determination.”
“The embassy expressed the State of Qatar’s confidence that the International Court of Justice will give due consideration to its written memorandum, and to other memorandums[…]and will therefore decide that Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories is illegal and must be ended immediately,” the statement read.
The Qatari embassy also renewed Gulf state’s stance “on the justice of the Palestinian cause, and the moral imperative to support the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people”.
“Which means working together to end the Israeli occupation based on apartheid, recognition of the State of Palestine in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions, and the full realisation of the right of return of Palestinian refugees,” the Gulf state said.
Oman issued a separate memorandum on the matter, in which it underlined the international community’s responsibility to stop Israeli settlements and plans to annex parts of the occupied Palestinian lands.
“Oman’s position remains that this would be in accordance with Security Council resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, respecting the principle of land for peace and the principle of a two state solution,” Oman’s foreign ministry said.
Meanwhile, China submitted a separate letter to the ICJ over Israel’s human rights violations.
UN draft resolution
The latest development comes months after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a draft resolution seeking a legal opinion from the ICJ “on the nature of the existence” of the Israeli occupation.
The UNGA had adopted the draft resolution last November after garnering 98 votes from member states, including Qatar. A total of 17 other countries voted against the draft resolution, including Washington, Tel Aviv’s main ally and backer.
Just days after the vote, Israel announced sanctions against the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, limiting construction permits in the occupied West Bank while deducting millions from the government’s tax money.
More than 90 United Nations member states rejected Israel’s retaliatory measures at the time.
The ICJ’s rulings have been widely slammed by activists as ineffective due to the continuous Israeli impunity in its violations of Palestinians’ rights.
In 2004, the ICJ gave the UN an advisory opinion on “the legal consequences” of Israel’s illegal construction of the West Bank separation wall, under which the Zionist state annexed the Palestinian territory.
The ICJ had slammed the move and said it was “contrary to international law” as it destroyed and confiscated Palestinian property.
Despite the ruling, Israel constructed more checkpoints, illegal barriers, and expanded its illegal settlements while separating Palestinian families.
Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in a bloody war in 1967, widely known as “the six-day war” and the naksa, or “setback”.
Within six days, the Zionist state captured the majority of Palestine while forcibly displacing at least 300,000 Palestinians.
The displacement of Palestinians is widely known as the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, which has been taking place since 1948, when Zionist militias established Israel.
On the 75th anniversary of the Nakba in May, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani stressed that the “catastrophic effects” of the mass expulsion of Palestinians has continued.
“The catastrophic effects of the Nakba continue to this day, and millions of Palestinians suffer from it, including refugees, who still cling to their right to return to their country from which they were unjustly expelled,” Sheikh Tamim said in his message before the UN.
The Qatari leader also pointed to a rise in Israeli violence “against the defenceless Palestinian people, as well as attacks on their sanctities and restrictions on the rights of Muslims and Christians.”
“There is no doubt that these illegal practices constitute a denial by the authorities. The occupation of its obligations under international humanitarian law, which imposes a responsibility to guarantee the rights of worship and protect worshipers and religious sanctities, as well as constitutes a violation of the relevant United Nations resolutions,” Amir Tamim said.