Bangladesh has made a statement before the ICJ concerning the request by the UN General Assembly for an Advisory Opinion on the question of the legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands M Riaz Hamidullah made Bangladesh’s statement before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerning the request by the United Nations General Assembly for an Advisory Opinion on the question of the “legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” today.

In the oral hearing, the Ambassador of Bangladesh mentioned that Bangladesh fought for 23 long years to gain her independence and finally achieved it through a bloody War in 1971, during which three million people had to sacrifice their lives. In the early days of independent Bangladesh, our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said, “….the world is divided into two parts– oppressors and oppressed. And, I am with the oppressed”.

The Ambassador of Bangladesh also mentioned that as Bangladesh pursued her self-determination, our Constitution mandated us to support oppressed peoples worldwide who are fighting imperialism, colonialism, or racism. This duty is outlined in Article 25(C) of our Constitution.

Bangladesh also mentioned the fast-developing circumstances in Rafah with grave humanitarian implications for the 1.4 million Palestinian people, nearly half of them children.

The ongoing war represents one of the most shameful catastrophes in the history of the modern era. The killing of thousands of innocent civilians, particularly children, the destruction of their homes, the occupation of their ancestral lands, and the deliberate obstruction of their access to food and water all constitute blatant violations of international law and serve as textbook examples of ethnic cleansing.

Bangladesh firmly believes that an advisory opinion on the questions posed by the General Assembly would undoubtedly represent a critical and logical step towards ending the illegal occupation. The dismantling of this occupation would, in turn, address the root cause of Israel’s violent subjugation of the Palestinian people.

Bangladesh argued before the Court that the fundamental question posed by the UN General Assembly regarding the legality of the Israeli occupation is grounded in established international norms and legal principles. The occupation, characterized by persecution, racial discrimination, and apartheid, stands in clear violation of three peremptory norms of international law: the right to self-determination, the prohibition of acquiring territory by force, and the prohibition of racial discrimination and apartheid.

Bangladesh further argued that Israel’s prolonged occupation, coupled with its policies of colonization and annexation, underscores its illegality under international law. These actions not only contravene the UN Charter but also violate general international law, including the peremptory norm prohibiting the acquisition of territory by force.

Israel, through its denial of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, has violated peremptory norms of international law. These violations include persecution, racial discrimination, and apartheid against Palestinians, as well as the occupation, colonization, and annexation of Palestinian land. These systematic breaches severely undermine the rights of Palestinians as a people and Palestine as a State, while also hindering the prospects for a just and lasting peace by international law and relevant UN Resolutions.

Bangladesh underlined that the promise of a Palestinian State based on a diplomatic settlement grounded in law has been a prominent feature of the international agenda since 1948. Seventy-five years later, there exists a vast body of State practice and opinio juris that emphatically support the Palestinian people’s right to an independent State. The UN Security Council and the General Assembly have adopted numerous Resolutions since 1948 on the “Question of Palestine,” recognizing, among other rights, the right of return for Palestine’s refugees and the right of Palestinians to establish an independent State along the pre-1967 borders. Additionally, both the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council have acknowledged the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. Importantly, in 2004, this Court, in its Advisory Opinion on the Wall, explicitly affirmed the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination under international law.

Bangladesh, drawing on our agonizing struggle for independence, recognizes how the State of Palestineconsistently and conclusively re-affirmed her commitment to a peaceful solution. This solution, in accordance with international law and based on the afore-mentioned terms of reference, aims to ensure the fulfilment of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights under international law. These rights include self-determination, the right of return, the realization of independence and sovereignty of their State along pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the aspiration to live side by side in peace and security with Israel.


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