Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, has criticized the US and its allies for supporting Israel’s claim to have the right to self-defense in its ongoing military operation in Gaza, which has killed thousands of Palestinians and Israelis.
Speaking at an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, Nebenzia said that Israel, as an “occupying power”, does not have such a right under international law. He cited the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in 2004, which stated that Israel’s construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory was illegal and that it had an obligation to protect the rights of the Palestinian people.
Nebenzia accused the US and its allies of hypocrisy, saying that they always call for respect for humanitarian law and impose sanctions on those who use force as a last resort in other situations, but remain silent or justify Israel’s actions in Gaza. He said that they have ignored the “horrific destruction” and the “deaths of thousands of children” caused by Israel’s airstrikes on civilian targets, including hospitals.