Moscow: As the “occupying power,” Israel has no right to self-defense in Gaza

Israel does not have the right to cite self-defense as justification for its violent military operations in Gaza because it is an “occupying power.” This was the bombshell statement of Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, during an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Nov. 1.

In a tweet on X, independent news site the Revolution Report posted a segment of Nebenzia’s address to the Security Council: “I cannot help but dwell on the hypocrisy of the U.S. and its allies, who in other situations call for compliance with human rights, create commissions of inquiry and impose sanctions on those who apply force only as a last resort to stop years of violence. And today, seeing the horrific destruction in Gaza many times greater than what they angrily criticize in other regional context attacks on civilian targets, including hospitals, the death of thousands of children and the horrific suffering of the civilian population under a total blockade, they seem to have taken water in their mouths.”

Nebenzia further pointed out that the U.S. and its allies can “talk about Israel’s supposed right to self-defense.” However, “as an occupying power, [Israel] does not have such a right, which was confirmed by the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in 2004.”

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The diplomat also stressed that Russia nevertheless recognizes Israel’s right to ensure its 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 UN Security Council resolutions. “We do not deny Israel the right to fight terrorism. But fight terrorists, not civilians,” he emphasized. He also stressed the need to allow the mediators to work on finding a “diplomatic solution, including the immediate release of prisoners.” He believed that a diplomatic solution would have to be found, sooner or later, but the question was “How many innocent people will die during this time?”

Moscow has condemned the militant group Hamas for starting the conflict when it staged its October 7 attack in the Gaza Strip, leaving 1,400 Israelis dead. This triggered the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to launch retaliatory airstrikes. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration has also accused Israel of indiscriminately killing Palestinian civilians, even calling for an immediate ceasefire. More than 9,000 Palestinians are said to have been killed since the beginning of the war, according to the latest figures from Gaza health officials.

Israel is not about self-defense but aiming to ethnically cleanse Palestinians, Middle East expert discloses

Meanwhile, in an interview, Syriana Analysis founder and Middle East expert Kevork Almassian clarified that as per the international law and the UN charter, Israel indeed does not have a right to defend itself in the pieces of land that it occupied after the June 4, 1967 war. The so-called Six-Day War or the 1967 War transformed Israel from a nation that perceived itself as fighting for survival into an occupier and “regional powerhouse.”

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However, Almassian commented that the problem with the narrative is that it was all too general, without any timelines and demarcations as to where Israel does and does not have the right to self-defense. He also pointed out, based on the number of people who died of the Israeli attacks, how Israel is not really interested in defending itself but rather… in ethnically cleansing the Palestinians. They are forcefully driven to the Sinai Peninsula, where they will be built “beautiful” tent cities so that they are forced to stay there. He even revealed that Israel is paying Egypt $8 billion to $20 billion to take in 2.2 million Palestinians, who will not be allowed to go back to Gaza anymore. (Related: Israel admits bombing Gaza refugee camp, killing and wounding HUNDREDS of civilians just to take out ONE man.)

When asked by the host whether he thinks that the United States’ unwavering support for Israel will begin to falter in light of the growing death toll in Palestine, he remarked that the hugest attacks will not be possible without the bombs supplied by America. It is important to note that “9,000 Palestinians died in the Gaza Strip in the last three weeks mostly of American bombs,” he stated, adding that before that, hundreds and thousands of Muslims already died of bombs from the United States.

For him, Americans do not have any moral high ground to preach human rights amid the recent developments. He even called the White House’s announcement on Wednesday about developing a national strategy to counter Islamophobia a complete utter hypocrisy.

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“President Biden ran for office to restore the soul of our nation. He is unequivocal: There is no place for hate in America against anyone. Period,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. This was blatantly dismissed by Almassian. “America has already murdered so many Muslims around the world,” and while doing that, the Biden administration “needs the votes” of the Muslims for the 2024 elections, which is just a year away.

Check out for updates on the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Watch the full episode of the interview with Kevork Almassian below.

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