China backs Palestinians’ right to ‘armed struggle’ against Israeli occupation

The Cradle, February 22, 2024 —

Over 50 nations are taking part in legal hearings at The Hague that seek to put an end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

China expressed support for the right of Palestinians to engage in “armed struggle” against Israel, stressing this is not “terrorism” during the fourth day of hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case against Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.

“In pursuit of the right to self-determination [the Palestinian people have the right to the] use of force to resist foreign oppression and to complete the establishment of the Palestinian state,” Ma Xinmin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry legal adviser, told the World Court on 22 February.

Citing examples of “various people [who] freed themselves from colonial rule” through armed resistance, Xinmin argued that acts of resistance against the Israeli occupation are “not terrorism” but a legitimate armed struggle and an “inalienable right.”

“Numerous other resolutions recognize the legitimacy of struggle by all available means, including armed struggle by people under colonial domination or foreign occupation to realize the right of self-determination,” the Chinese official said.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping has stressed on multiple occasions that China calls for a comprehensive ceasefire and the early solution to the question of Palestine on the basis of a two-state solution through negotiation,” he added.

Xinmin took to the podium ahead of Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, Reza Najafi, who highlighted Israel’s historic violations of Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

“The establishment of the Israeli regime was done through a violent process which involved the forcible displacement of native Palestinian people to create a majority Jewish colony in line with the Zionist movement,” Najafi said.

He also listed a series of ongoing violations by Tel Aviv, which include the prolonged occupation and manipulation of the demographic composition in the occupied Palestinian territories, the alteration of the character and status of Jerusalem, and the discriminatory measures and violations of the rights of Palestinian people to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources.

“The expansion of settlements, segregated roads and barriers as well as checkpoints has created a system of apartheid which is isolating Palestinian communities,” Najafi added before addressing the UN Security Council (UNSC) for their “inaction or insufficient action,” saying this was one of the “main causes of prolonged occupation of the Palestinians” and highlighting that the top UN body is “paralyzed due to the stalemate” caused by a “certain permanent member.”

“All the atrocities and crimes committed by the Israeli regime in the past almost eight years are a consequence of such inaction,” the Iranian official concluded.

The Iraqi representative to the ICJ, Hayder Shiya al-Barrak, took to the podium next and called on the ICJ to respect previous court orders against Israel, such as the provisions made after South Africa’s case to “stop the systematic killing machine against the Palestinian people.”

“We hope that the court’s commitment to justice will lead to additional decisions … affirming its dedication to ending the campaign of mass murder and preventing acts of genocide as well as policies of harassment, blockade, and starvation against the Palestinian people,” he said.

Barrak concluded his intervention by calling on the World Court to take decisions “that safeguard the lives of the Palestinian man, women, children, and elders, allowing them to enjoy a dignified and secure life where all human rights are achieved.”

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