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2 Nov, 2023 12:37

Israel’s Gaza operations not ‘self-defense’ – Moscow

The Jewish state is an “occupying power,” Russia’s UN representative Vassily Nebenzia has claimed
Israel’s Gaza operations not ‘self-defense’ – Moscow

Israel does not have the right to cite self-defense as justification for its military operations in Gaza because it is an “occupying power,” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

Nebenzia said all the US and its allies can do is “talk about Israel’s supposed right to self-defense.” However, he pointed out that “as an occupying power, it does not have such a right, which was confirmed by the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in 2004.”

The diplomat went on to accuse the US and its satellites of hypocrisy, stating that in other situations they always call to respect humanitarian law, create special commissions, and impose sanctions on those “who actually use force only as a last resort to stop decades of violence.”

“And today, seeing the horrific destruction in Gaza, many times greater than everything that they angrily criticize in other regional contexts – attacks on civilian targets, including hospitals, the deaths of thousands of children – they seem to have taken water into their mouths,” the permanent representative said.

Nebenzia also stressed that Russia nevertheless recognizes Israel’s right to ensure its own security. He noted, however, that “it can fully be guaranteed only if there is a fair solution to the Palestinian problem,” which should be based on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions.

“We do not deny Israel the right to fight terrorism. But fight terrorists, not civilians,” Nebenzia said.

The Russian government has officially condemned the October 7 Hamas attack, which left some 1,400 Israelis dead and prompted the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to launch retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza. However, Moscow has also accused Israel of indiscriminately killing Palestinian civilians and has called for an immediate ceasefire. More than 9,000 Palestinians are said to have been killed since October 7, according to the latest figures from Gaza health officials.

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