Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might regret having tweeted: "These are the fundamental directives of the national government that I lead: The Jewish people have an exclusive and indisputable right to all areas of the Land of Israel. The government will encourage and expand settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel – in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.”

In response, the United Nations General Assembly adopted - by 87 votes in favor (clustered around Russia and China), 26 against (including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany and Italy), and 53 abstentions (including France, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and notably Ukraine) - a resolution requesting, under article 18, the International Court of Justice (i.e. the UN Court in the Hague) to rule on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

The question is formulated as follows:
"(a) What are the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures?
(b) How do the policies and practices of Israel referred to in paragraph 18 (a) above affect the legal status of the occupation, and what are the legal consequences that arise for all States and the United Nations from this status?"

This procedure should lead to a decision by the Court declaring the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories illegal under international law.

Since 1948, some forty United Nations resolutions have been violated by Israel with total impunity. However, in 2004, the International Court of Justice clarified the matter by declaring the illegality of the Israeli settlements located on Palestinian territory as well as those parts of the Separation Barrier encroaching on the same territory.

The resolution just adopted had been under discussion for two months. It was passed chiefly to prevent the new government of Benjamin Netanyahu from carrying out its “revisionist Zionist” program described in the tweet quoted above.

The debates pitted proponents of “international law”, led by Russia and China, against those of a “rules-based order”, led by the Anglo-Saxons. The latter turned out to be in the minority.

The full texte of the resolution is available here: “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, Voltaire Network, 30 December 2022.