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ICJ sets deadline for submissions on Israel’s ‘occupation’ of biblical heartland

The U.N. General Assembly in late December approved a resolution, at the behest of the P.A., calling on the court to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on the status of Judea and Samaria.

The judges and guests of the International Criminal Court at the opening of the ICC judicial year on Jan. 18, 2019, in The Hague. Credit: International Criminal Court.
The judges and guests of the International Criminal Court at the opening of the ICC judicial year on Jan. 18, 2019, in The Hague. Credit: International Criminal Court.

The International Court of Justice announced on Wednesday a July 25 deadline for state bodies and organizations to submit documents pertaining to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

The U.N. General Assembly in late December approved a resolution, at the behest of the Palestinian Authority, calling on the ICJ to “render urgently an advisory opinion” on what it called Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory.”

The ICJ said in a statement that it has set “July 25, 2023, as the time list within which written statements on the questions may be presented to the court and October 25, 2023, as the time limit within which states and organizations, having presented written statements, may submit written comments on the written statements made by either states or organizations.”

The ICJ confirmed in late January that it had received the U.N.’s formal request to weigh in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, without indicating that it was launching a probe.

In response to the U.N. resolution, the Israeli Security Cabinet decided, among other measures, to withhold taxes and tariffs collected on behalf of the P.A., in an amount equal to that which Ramallah paid to terrorists and their families in 2022 under its “pay-for-slay” policy.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has since signed an order doubling that amount.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the U.N. move as “disgraceful.”

“Just like the hundreds of distorted U.N. General Assembly resolutions against Israel over the years, this disgraceful resolution will not obligate the government of Israel. The Jewish people is not occupying its land and is not occupying its eternal capital Jerusalem. No U.N. resolution can distort this historical truth,” he said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly requested during his visit to Israel last week that Netanyahu temporarily freeze construction in Judea and Samaria and halt demolition of illegal Arab structures in those territories as well as the eastern part of Jerusalem, in a bid to de-escalate tensions amid rampant Palestinian terrorism.

Washington also requested that the P.A. fully resume security coordination with Israel and postpone any additional steps against it at U.N. institutions and other international bodies.

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