Malaysia, Indonesia Denounce Israeli Occupation During ICJ Proceedings

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Malaysia, Indonesia Denounce Israeli Occupation During ICJ Proceedings

The two nations’ foreign ministers addressed the body during an advisory proceeding examining Israel’s post-1967 occupation of Palestinian territories.

Malaysia, Indonesia Denounce Israeli Occupation During ICJ Proceedings

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (left) attends a hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, February 23, 2024.

Credit: X/Menteri Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia

The foreign ministers of Indonesia and Malaysia have both denounced Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip and urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to declare Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands illegal.

The two nations were among 52 countries who were given the chance to address The Hague-based court on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories since 1967.

As Human Rights Watch notes, these “advisory proceedings” at the ICJ stem from a December 2022 request by the United Nations General Assembly for an advisory opinion by the court on the legal consequences of Israel’s policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The proceedings are separate from the genocide case that South Africa recently filed against Israel following its attack on Gaza, which it launched after the brutal Hamas attacks on southern Israel on October 7. However, they have inevitably been colored by the global outrage over the ferocious Israeli attack on Gaza, which has been widely condemned by the world community.

The majority of the countries that have taken part in the advisory proceedings, which follow on from similar proceedings in 2004, have condemned Israel’s occupation and called on the United Nations, in particular the Security Council, to act against it. Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War in June 1967, and formally annexed East Jerusalem in 1980. It has since built thousands of settlements throughout the occupied territory, in violation of U.N. resolutions.

In a fiery speech to the ICJ on Friday, Indonesian Foreign Minister denounced the Israeli occupation, demanded a withdrawal of Israeli troops, and said that the country should pay reparations to the Palestinian population of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

“The Court must pronounce that Israeli Occupation is illegal as a whole. It follows that we must bring this illegal situation to an end,” she said, according to a report by BenarNews. “Israel must cease completely, unconditionally and immediately all of its unlawful actions and policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Retno’s comments were echoed a day earlier by Malaysian Foreign Minister Mohamad Hasan. “Israel is under an obligation to offer full reparation,” Hasan told the ICJ. “This means that it must provide both actual and juridical restitution, including the annulment or repeal of all offending legislative and regulatory measures it has adopted for the OPT.”

“Further, all states must not recognize as lawful the situation created by the serious breach of the right to self-determination, that is, the occupation of the Palestinian territory,” he added.

Indonesia and Malaysia have long been vocal supporters of the Palestinian cause, and neither has formal diplomatic ties with Israel. Since the beginning of the war on October 7, the two nations, and particularly Malaysia, have been among the most vocal in their support for the Palestinian cause and their denunciations of both Israel’s ruthless retaliatory attacks on Gaza and what they view as the West’s hypocrisy on the issue.

Shortly after the beginning of Israel’s assault on Gaza, Malaysia’s government called out what it described as the world’s “flagrant hypocrisy in dealing with any regime [Israel] that practices apartheid and blatantly violates human rights and international law.” It said that the “root cause” of the Hamas attack – the Israeli occupation – “must be acknowledged.”

Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs similarly called for an “immediate end of violence” and said that “the root of the conflict, namely the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel, must be resolved, in accordance with the parameters agreed upon by the U.N.”