Arab League appeals for freezing of Israel at UN General Assembly

2024-07-05 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Council of the Arab League has demanded freezing Israel's participation at the United Nations General Assembly as Tel Aviv continued to defy the UN Charter and international laws in its military offensive to destroy Hamas in Gaza.

The Permanent Representative of Palestine to the League of Arab States Ambassador Muhannad Al-Aklouk led the appeal during the extraordinary session at the level of permanent delegates, headed by Yemen, at the request of the State of Palestine in Cairo, Egypt, on July 4.

Al-Aklouk pointed out that during the past eight months of the crime of genocide, the League held two summits, four councils of foreign ministers, and six councils at the delegate level, and one temporary committee of permanent delegates was tasked last January with formulating practical measures that could be taken to force Israel to stop its atrocities.

At least 38,000 Palestinians have been killed to date in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its ongoing retaliatory strikes in October last year over revenge for Hamas' killing of 1,200 Israeli citizens and taking in over 200 hostages.

The Arab nations are also pushing for the implementation of a resolution demanding the inclusion of a list of Israeli "extremist organizations" and groups associated with "Israeli colonial settlement activities" that "intrude upon the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the national Arab terrorism lists", as well as boycotting companies "operating in colonial settlements".

The Council discussed the policy of confronting the "crimes of genocide and Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, in addition to colonial expansion", the Union of News Agencies of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (UNA) reported.

According to the UNA report, Al-Aklouk called for freezing Israel's participation in the UNGA because of its lack of commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, viewing it a threat to international peace and security, and for Tel Aviv's "failure to fulfill its obligations that were a condition for accepting its membership in the UN".

Further, the report also noted that international law has proven that it alone "is unable to stop the greatest crime possible" as it accused Israel of "genocide while enjoying immunity".

Al-Aklouk stressed the need to submit Arab referrals and complaints to the International Criminal Court, and to direct Arab civil society organizations, federations and unions to begin filing cases against Israeli officials in national and international courts.

In May, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor sought arrest warrants for Israel and Hamas leaders on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity as a result of their fighting in Gaza.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice with a ruling that ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its military operation in Rafah, which it launched on May 6.

Gokhan Ereli, Gulf studies coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, in Turkiye, told China Daily that the recent actions taken by the Arab League marked a significant shift in the region's geopolitical dynamics.

He said the unity displayed by the Arab nations enhance their collective diplomatic and political leverage, signaling a rare moment of cohesion in addressing the brutal Israeli assaults on Palestine.

"By strategically employing international law and diplomatic channels, the Arab League aims to delegitimize Israeli actions and hold it accountable through global institutions such as the UN and the ICC," said Ereli.

"This approach not only seeks to increase international scrutiny on Israel but also to apply economic pressure through the endorsement of the BDS movement and boycotting companies involved in illegal settlements," he added.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, launched in 2005, works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law, according to the BDS website.

Al-Aklouk reaffirmed the Arab countries' to support the Palestinian question "with firm political positions supportive of the issue, whether in the League's decisions or in international forums".

The Council reaffirmed that any Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories since 1967, whether de facto or through invalid legislation, "constitutes a new Israeli war crime".

It demanded the international community to exert pressure and implement punitive measures to compel Israel to halt its illegal annexation and settlement practices, which the Council said undermined the prospects for peace and a two-state solution, Palestine's WAFA News Agency reported.

Al-Aklouk lamented the children who have been killed, gone missing, lost limbs or had been orphaned, as well as the more than 10,000 women that have been killed, including putting 60 pregnant women at huge risk of death before or after child birth as the health system had collapsed.

"At the core of these efforts is the push for the establishment and recognition of an independent Palestinian state, preventing further annexation of Palestinian territories, and supporting the Palestinians' right to self-determination," said Ereli.

"The Arab League's actions highlight the importance of a just resolution to the conflict, aiming for an independent Palestinian state as a cornerstone of regional stability and peace," he added.

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