Colombia defended this Wednesday before the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ) the need to “guarantee the very existence of the Palestinian people” and underlined the “real and imminent risk of irreparable harm” to the rights of Palestinian citizens as a consequence. of the ongoing Israeli occupation. In addition, he acknowledged for the first time that Israel was the victim of a terrorist attack by Hamas.

Representing Colombia during hearings on the legal consequences of Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories of Palestine, Andrea Jiménez Herrera explained to the judges that Israel “is obliged to cease its violations and return to a situation of compliance with the obligations it has violated” with his occupation.

“It must end the prolonged occupation, settlements and annexation of Palestinian territory. It must be done unconditionally, immediately and completely. It should cease continued unlawful international acts and should provide appropriate safeguards. Israel must also respect international humanitarian and human rights law towards the Palestinian people. Furthermore, Israel must repair the damage caused,” Bogotá stressed.

As Jiménez Herrera explained, “What is at stake here is guaranteeing the security and very existence of the Palestinian people, taking into account the real and imminent risk of irreparable harm to the rights of Palestinians as a consequence of Israel’s occupation, as has been documented by international agencies, UN bodies and even recently recognized by the Court itself,” the highest judicial body of the United Nations.

Colombia regretted that the policies and practices during the advance of that occupation, the focus of the hearings held by the ICJ this week, have resulted in “imposed persecution, racial discrimination and apartheid on the Palestinian people” and Bogotá considered that the ICJ can only confirm that these are violations of “various international legal obligations” that fall on Israel.

“Gaza today is a place of death and despair. The Court should not underestimate the fact that the situation in Gaza has become more deadly in recent months and therefore the legal consequences of such actions must be more serious today than in the world we lived in before this conflict began,” said Jiménez Herrera.

At the request of the UN General Assembly in 2022, before the offensive in Gaza, the ICJ analyzes this week “the legal consequences arising from Israel’s policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem”to issue a non-binding legal opinion.

In a separate case, South Africa launched proceedings in late December to accuse Israel of violating the Genocide Convention with its operations in the Strip, and, in an earlier part of the case, the ICJ issued injunctions requiring Israel to take steps “immediate and effective” measures to prevent the commission of genocide against the Palestinians of Gaza.


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