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U.S. opposes calls for immediate Israeli withdrawal at world court

Richard C. Visek (right) in the International Court of Justice courtroom Associated Press/Photo by Peter Dejong

U.S. opposes calls for immediate Israeli withdrawal at world court

A representative for the United States spoke during the third day of testimony before the United Nations International Court of Justice on Wednesday, urging the 15-judge panel to consider the security needs of Israel. The court began a planned six days of testimony on Monday before it is expected to issue a non-binding advisory opinion regarding Israeli presence in areas of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Before Israel’s war with Hamas, it maintained a presence in areas outside of Israel as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War with Arab states. The hearing has been years in the making and was not intentionally planned to coincide with the Israel-Hamas war.

Acting legal adviser for the U.S. State Department Richard Visek petitioned for Israel, arguing that any decision from the court “requires consideration for Israel’s very real security needs.” Visek noted that the recent Oct. 7 attack by Hamas proves those security needs, which he argued “have been ignored by many of the [hearing] participants.” He asked that the court continue considering the UN’s two-state solution framework. Representatives of the Palestinian Authority kicked off testimony on Monday by asking the court to order Israel to remove itself from the disputed areas immediately.

When is Israel testifying? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement on Monday denouncing the legitimacy of the ICJ proceedings, describing them as “an effort designed to infringe on Israel's right to defend itself against existential threats.” Testimony from over 50 countries is expected through the end of the hearings on Monday, before several months of deliberation from the court. Representatives from Iran, Iraq, and China are scheduled to address the court on Thursday.

Dig deeper: Read Jill Nelson’s interview in WORLD Magazine with a Jerusalem pastor about Islam and the mission of the Church.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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