The Palestinians have hailed a vote held at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) urging the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to provide an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“The time has come for Israel to be a state subject to law, and to be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against our people,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

“We are now waiting for the ICJ to request a legal advisory opinion on the Israeli system,” he said. “Resorting to international institutions is a Palestinian right, and we will continue to join international bodies and institutions.”

The UNGA, after the vote on Friday, asked the international court to give an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s “occupation, settlement and annexation” of the Palestinian territories.

It also urged the court to speak on “measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures”.

The Hague-based ICJ, also known as the World Court, is the top UN court that deals with disputes between states. Its rulings are binding, though the ICJ has no power to enforce them.

But the vote is a significant move in favour of the Palestinian cause.

Senior Palestinian official Hussein al-Sheikh tweeted that the vote revealed “the victory of Palestinian diplomacy”.

  • Independent