Wednesday, April 24, 2024

“Without accountability, there is no justice; without justice, there can be no peace”: Palestine’s Riyad Mansour at ICJ

“Palestinians are only asking for their rights,” said Palestine’s ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour while addressing the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to give the closing statement.

Mansour’s – at times, emotional – closing statement has brought today’s proceedings at an end.

In his speech, Mansour himself moved to tears and breaking up as he described how international law has not protected Palestinian children in Gaza or the occupied West Bank.

“A finding from this distinguished court that the occupation is illegal and drawing the legal consequences from this determination would contribute to bringing it to an immediate end, paving the way to just and lasting peace,” he said.

“A finding from this distinguished court that the occupation is illegal and drawing the legal consequences from this determination would contribute to bringing it to an immediate end, paving the way to just and lasting peace,” he urged.

Mansour went on to say: “Ending injustice and achieving a just and lasting peace, to guide us towards a future in which Palestinian children are treated as children… in which the identity of the group to which we belong does not diminish the human rights to which we are all entitled.”

“A future in which no Palestinian and no Israeli is killed. A future in which two states live side by side in peace and security,” he further said.

“The future of freedom, justice and peace can begin here and now,” more from Mansour.

Mansour said: “Without accountability, there is no justice; and without justice, there can be no peace.”

Israel must be made to bear the consequences of its illegal conduct rather than reap the benefits, Mansour said.

He went on to say: “We call on you to confirm that the Israeli presence in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal and that its occupation must come to an immediate, complete and unconditional end.”

“What does international law mean for Palestinian children in Gaza today? It has not protected their families or communities. It has not protected their lives, or limbs, or hopes, or homes,” he said.

The court will meet again tomorrow at 09:00 GMT to hear from South Africa, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Bangladesh and Belgium.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague will hear from 52 countries and three organisations on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

The weeklong proceedings come as Israel continues its devastating war on Gaza.

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