Israeli occupation

By Editorial Board
January 26, 2023

Forty member nations of the UN have spoken out against the punitive sanctions imposed on Palestinians by Israel after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution, backed by the Palestinian Authority, asking the International Court of Justice to determine whether the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, such as the West Bank and Gaza Strip, was legal. Certainly, the occupation of Palestine by Israel, which stands at the heart of the Middle East crisis, has continued for far too long and left Palestinians in an increasing state of misery. They have less and less space to call their homeland and at the same time face violence and attacks from Israel in a variety of forms, including new restrictions on their movement and new measures to prevent them from earning livelihoods.

While countries – including Pakistan – which had supported the motion spoke out against Israel’s increase in punitive measures after it was passed, countries which had stayed neutral or even those that had opposed the motion also condemned the retaliatory measures by Israel following the reference of the matter to the ICJ. We hope the ICJ can decide the matter on its merits, and offer the Palestinians some of the justice that they deserve and which they have been denied. It is hoped that along with its ruling on the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the ICJ will also note the attempts by the Israeli government to punish the Palestinians for merely attempting to seek a legal opinion.

What we need is a global push against this architecture of occupation set up by the Zionist state that seems intent on punishing Palestinians for the crime of being Palestinian. Over the years, they have been denied food, power and other basic services because of Israel’s illegal blockages in Gaza. They have been treated like second-class citizens and increasingly segregated away. They cannot pray in their mosques without fear of attack and any response to Israeli provocation is met with brutal force. The rest of the world needs to wake up to the fact that Israel has colonized territory and established an apartheid state. Only international action can force this rogue state to change its behaviour.