Photo Credit: ICJ
The International Court of Justice courtroom.

Israel on Monday condemned an attempt earlier in the day by the Palestinian Authority to persuade the International Court of Justice in The Hague to expel Israeli communities and their residents from Judea and Samaria, claiming the territory belongs solely to the PA.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki spoke in the first of the legal proceedings, which came after the United Nations General Assembly in 2022 asked the UN’s judicial arm (The International Court of Justice) for an advisory, non-binding opinion on the matter.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement, “Israel does not recognize the legitimacy of the proceedings of the International Court in The Hague regarding ‘the legality of the occupation’ – which are an effort designed to infringe on Israel’s right to defend itself against existential threats.

“The proceedings in The Hague are part of the Palestinian attempt to dictate the results of the diplomatic settlement without negotiations. We will continue to reject this; the Government and the Knesset are united in rejecting this unacceptable course of action,” Netanyahu said.

‘One-Sided, Improper Legal Process’
“By hurling false accusations and creating a fundamentally distorted reality, the Palestinian Authority is trying to turn a conflict that should be resolved through direct negotiations and without external impositions into a one-sided and improper legal process designed to adopt an extremist and distorted narrative according to which the Palestinians have no responsibilities and Israel has no rights, which has nothing to do with justice,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat charged in a lengthy statement.

“After the 7 October massacre, which shockingly was not mentioned at all by the Palestinians in their deliberations, during which Hamas terrorists slaughtered, executed, murdered and raped systematically and with premeditation over 1200 citizens of the State of Israel, those who call for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria without conditions and without negotiations are in fact calling for another massacre of Israeli citizens.

“The Palestinian leadership’s attempt to transform the international system into a political tool to attack Israel harms both global trust in the international legal system and the chances of reaching a resolution of the conflict,” Haiat said.

Years-Long Effort to Evade Mandated Direct Talks
“For years, the Palestinian leadership has rejected direct negotiations to resolve the conflict, while fostering incitement to terrorism, promoting antisemitism and providing financial incentives to terrorists who murder Jews.

“All of this was hidden from the Court in the distorted and one-sided questions posed to it by the General Assembly, which endeavor to predetermine the results of the proceedings without regard to the basic principles of international law and the legal framework that applies to the conflict,” Haiat said.

“The Court should refrain from participating in this media circus and determine that the Palestinians should return to the existing legal frameworks in order to resolve the conflict through direct negotiations between the parties,” he urged.

A Week of Hearings at The Hague
Monday’s session at International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Monday opened a week of hearings on the legal consequences of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria — in fact, in all post-1967 territory, including half of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley — with more than 50 states due to address the judges.

The hearings are set to be held until February 26, after which the judges are expected to take several months to deliberate before issuing an advisory opinion.

Among countries scheduled to participate in the hearings are the United States – Israel’s strongest backer – China, Russia, South Africa and Egypt. Israel will not participate, although it has sent written observations.

Palestinian Authority Attempting to Evade Oslo Accords
The Palestinian Authority is legally bound under international law to settle its differences with the State of Israel in direct permanent status talks in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo I and Oslo II Accords.

The Oslo II Accord was signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on September 24, 1995 and again on September 28, 1995 with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat as signatories to the document in a White House ceremony witnessed by then-US President Bill Clinton and representatives of Russia, Egypt, Jordan, Norway, and the European Union.

Oslo II divided Judea and Samaria into three sectors: Area A under the full control of the Palestinian Authority; Area B, under the PA’s administration authority and Israeli security control; and Area C under full Israeli administrative and security control.

The Palestinian Authority — aided and abetted by the European Union — has spent years gradually establishing “facts on the ground” by illegally building schools and then entire villages on Area C land — in violation of the Oslo Accords.

The internationally-recognized 300-page agreement which established the Palestinian Authority directed permanent status talks to begin no later than May 4, 1996 between the Israeli and Ramallah governments and to reach a permanent settlement of all main issues.

Then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin even then, however, said clearly, “We do not accept the Palestinian goal of an independent Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan. We believe there is a separate Palestinian entity short of a state,” according to a report published by The New York Times.

Rabin’s words have been echoed repeatedly over the years by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving head of state.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.