Just days after the unanimous vote, Israel announced sanctions against the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, limiting construction in the occupied West Bank.
More than 90 United Nations member states rejected Israeli sanctions imposed on Palestine in retaliation for a vote requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality of Israel’s occupation.
On Tuesday, Palestine’s mission to the UN shared a statement in which the signatories condemned Israel’s “punitive” measures against the people and government of Palestine earlier this month.
Those who signed it include Algeria, as Chair of the Arab summit, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, among numerous others.
“As Member States of the United Nations, we reconfirm our unwavering support for the International Court of Justice and international law as the cornerstone of our international order, as well as our commitment to multilateralism,” read the statement.
The Israeli measures followed an overwhelming vote at the UN last month seeking the ICJ’s opinion over Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestine.
Qatar was among a majority of countries that voted in favour of the resolution, which Palestinian officials described as a major victory for Palestine.
Under the resolution, the UN requested the ICJ to provide an opinion on Israel’s “occupation, settlement and annexation” along with its measures in altering the demographic, character and status of Jerusalem.
Just days after the vote, Israel announced sanctions against the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, limiting construction in the occupied West Bank while deducting millions from the government’s tax money.
“In this regard, we express our deep concern regarding the Israeli government’s decision to impose punitive measures against the Palestinian people, leadership and civil society following the request by the General Assembly of an advisory opinion by the [ICJ],” added the statement.
Countries that abstained or voted against the resolution, including Germany, have also rejected Israel’s measures.
Palestine’s Permanent Observer at the UN Riyad Mansour noted that the collective stance in rejecting Israel’s move is “significant”.
“This is significant as it shows that regardless of how countries have voted, they are united in rejecting these punitive measures,” Mansour said.
Mansour added that “any country that believes in multilateralism and is committed to the international-law based order cannot but oppose such punitive measures that target and affect the Palestinian people, leadership and civil society.”
While the ICJ’s rulings are binding, it does not hold power in passing them.
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 continued to act with impunity while constructing more checkpoints, illegal barriers, and expanding its settlements and 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 naksa, or “setback”.
Within six days, the Zionist state captured the majority of Palestine while forcibly dispossessing at least 300,000 Palestinians.