April 15th, 2024

Canada nixes oral argument at world court over Israel’s occupation of West Bank, Gaza

By The Canadian Press on February 20, 2024.

OTTAWA – Canada has nixed plans to make oral arguments at the International Court of Justice about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The UN General Assembly has asked the court for a non-binding opinion on the potential legal consequences of Israel’s policies and practices in the region.

With the case playing out this week against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas war, Canada is falling back on the position it has held since July of last year.

Global Affairs Canada says an oral submission was unnecessary because the government’s position, while still relevant, has not changed.

In a written submission from last summer, Canada says it should be the UN Security Council, not the General Assembly, to help broker a negotiated peace.

Canada is urging the court not to issue an advisory opinion for fear it would disrupt efforts to work towards a two-state solution.

The court was first asked in December 2022 to provide an advisory opinion, which would be separate from the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2024.

– With files from The Associated Press

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