NEW YORK: Malaysia demands accountability for Israel’s clear violations of international law in Gaza, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
The lack of accountability for Israel’s war crimes in Gaza undermines the legitimacy of international law, and efforts towards ending the illegal occupation of Palestine.
Mohamad said this at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate On The Situation in The Middle East Including Palestinian Question on Tuesday (Wednesday, Malaysian time).
“In upholding international law, and the rights of the oppressed, Malaysia on 23 July 2023, along with 56 other countries submitted a written statement, for the “Advisory Opinion, on the legal consequences, of Israel’s ongoing violations, in the Palestinian territory” at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
“Malaysia will now also participate at the public hearing, on 19 Feb,” Mohamad said.
He also highlighted Malaysia’s clear stance that there should be no reduction in Palestinian territory.
“Any attempt to grab their land violates international law, and further undermines the prospect of a peaceful coexistence,” Mohamad added.
He also pointed to the Security Council’s inability to call for a ceasefire which is partly responsible for what is now over a hundred days of carnage in Gaza.
Mohamad said Malaysia is appalled that Israel has been allowed to carry out what can only be described as indiscriminate bombing, targetting homes, shelters, evacuation routes, and even medical centres.
“On average, 246 Palestinians are killed every day, or 10 murders every hour. According to the United Nations, Relief and Works Agency, for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), up to 1.9 million people, or nearly 85 per cent of Gaza’s population has been forcibly displaced.
“This illegal and immoral pogrom of total annihilation should bring us to a single decision by members of this Council. It is time to recognise what Israel has been doing as genocide. And it is time to accept the State of Palestine as a full Member of the United Nations,” Mohamad further said.
He said Malaysia demands an immediate ceasefire and condemns the forced displacement of Palestinians, and will continue to do all, within its means, and within its rights, to bring an end, to this injustice and illegality.
The international community must prioritize the upscaling of all necessary amenities for the Palestinian people.
Access to basic services is a human right, which should not be compromised. Israel’s collective punishment of the entire population of Gaza is illegal, immoral, and must immediately cease, he said.
Israel launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip since last Oct, killing at least 25,490 Palestinians and injuring 63,354.
The Israeli onslaught has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, during his opening remarks, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized the prolonged suffering in Gaza, marking over 100 days of intense hardship.
The region grapples with displacement and dire humanitarian conditions, affecting 2.2 million people facing hunger and food insecurity, worsened by inadequate medical care and harsh winter conditions.
Guterres highlighted the escalating regional tensions, citing recent incidents such as the Israeli attack in Lebanon, the Houthi activities in the Red Sea, and Iran’s military actions in Syria and northern Iraq.
He sharply criticized Israel’s rejection of the two-state solution, stressing its contribution to prolonged conflict and global insecurity.
“The Israeli occupation must end. Israel’s dismissal of the two-state solution, despite strong international appeals, is not only unacceptable but also indirectly prolongs the conflict,” Guterres stated.
He questioned the viability of a one-state solution, expressing concern over the lack of freedom, rights, and dignity for a large Palestinian population within such a framework.
Guterres reaffirmed that a two-state solution remains the only viable path to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. – Bernama