Israel pressures Western allies to shutdown ICJ opinion on occupation of Palestinian territories
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday urged world leaders to block a Palestinian bid at the United Nations for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israel's occupation, the premier's office has said.
In a letter, Lapid asked more than 50 heads of state, including those of the UK and France, to pressure the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited rule in the occupied West Bank, and prevent it from promoting the resolution at the General Assembly.
The resolution, approved by a UN committee in early November, asks that the ICJ "urgently" weigh in on Israel's "prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory", violating the Palestinians' right to self-determination.
Israel captured has continued to occupy the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians are routinely subjected to forced explusions, disproportionate violence, and a denial of basic amnesties, such as water and education in Israel-occupied territories.
"This resolution is the outcome of a concerted effort to single out Israel, to discredit our legitimate security concerns, and to delegitimize our very existence," Lapid wrote in a copy of the letter shared with the press.
The status of disputed territory should be subject to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Lapid said.
He added that bringing the matter before the ICJ "will only play into the hands of extremists".
US-sponsored negotiations stalled in 2014. Senior members of Israel's likely incoming far-right coalition have opposed Palestinian statehood.