China to ICJ: Palestinians have the right to armed struggle against Israeli occupation

Ahram Online , Thursday 22 Feb 2024

In a bold statement on the fourth day of the International Court of Justice hearing on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, China said that Palestinians have the right to engage in armed struggle against Israel, stressing that armed resistance is a right of colonized peoples and does not contradict international law.

Ma Xinmin (C), Director General of the Treaty and Law Department for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, attends a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in AFP


Taking the stand at the Hague, Ma Xinmin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry legal adviser, said that “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.”

"It is an inalienable right well founded in international law."

Citing examples of “various people who freed themselves from colonial rule” through armed resistance, he affirmed that using force against Israelis by Palestinians is not terrorism but rather a legitimate armed struggle.

"Their practices serve as convincing evidence for the legitimacy of struggling by all available means, including armed struggle, by peoples under colonial domination or foreign occupation."

Since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, China has been calling for an immediate ceasefire and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"All parties in the conflicts should immediately cease fire and hostilities," China’s President Xi Jinping said in November, adding that "there can be no sustainable peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the Palestinian cause."

On Wednesday, China warned that a US decision to veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza pushed the conflict into an "even more dangerous" situation.

"China voted in favour of the draft resolution," foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a briefing on Wednesday.

"The United States has once again single-handedly vetoed it, pushing the situation in Gaza into an even more dangerous situation, in which all parties concerned... have expressed their strong disappointment and dissatisfaction," she added.

"The humanitarian situation in Gaza is becoming extremely serious, and regional peace and stability have been severely impacted," Mao said.

"The Security Council must take action as quickly as possible to bring a halt to hostilities. This is a moral obligation that cannot be put off," she added.

China has supported proposed resolutions for a permanent ceasefire in the United Nations Security Council shortly after the start of the war in October.

Moreover, China urged Israel to stop its military operation in the Gazan city of Rafah "as soon as possible," warning of a "serious humanitarian disaster" there if fighting did not stop.

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