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Türkiye stresses importance of world court’s opinion on Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories

Türkiye on Monday underscored the pivotal role the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is playing in terms of its advisory opinion on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

Speaking to reporters following the latest hearings of the world court, Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz stressed Türkiye’s staunch stance against the illegal occupation, signaling the country’s commitment to upholding international law and addressing the pressing humanitarian concerns in the region.

“The advisory opinion is important for us and the international community,” he said.

He reiterated Türkiye’s concerns about Israel’s persistent efforts to prolong the occupation and alter the status quo, especially regarding Jerusalem, and the importance of achieving a cease-fire in Gaza and the unobstructed delivery of humanitarian aid.

Yildiz stressed the necessity for a negotiated end to the occupation, underscoring Israel’s responsibility in the conflict’s escalation.

He expressed hope that the ICJ’s advisory opinion would reiterate to the international community that the crux of the Palestinian issue lies in the occupation, calling for concerted efforts towards a permanent resolution through diplomatic means.

“We hope that new initiatives and pressure from the international community will yield some results. We genuinely hope that cease-fire negotiations will reach a positive outcome soon, allowing for the reconstruction of Gaza and the achievement of a lasting peace and resolution of disputes,” he said.

Drawing on Türkiye’s regional influence and historical ties with Palestine, Yildiz highlighted the country’s vast experience in managing crises similar to the Palestinian situation.

He emphasized Türkiye’s commitment to supporting peaceful negotiations and condemned any attempts to alter the status of Jerusalem, warning of the perilous repercussions such actions could entail for the entire region.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas, killing nearly 29,800 people and causing mass destruction and shortages of necessities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe.