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October 26, 2023

West 'conspicuously silent' on Gaza violations, legal expert says

Western countries are on the international humanitarian violations taking place in Gaza, Stefan Talmon, a professor of international law, told DW on Thursday.

Talmon suggested that he agreed with Jordan's King Abdullah II, who accused the West of "double standards" on the situation in Gaza, compared with their stance on Ukraine.

"I think he does [have a point] because, of course, the West is conspicuously silent on any violations of international humanitarian law currently going on in Gaza," Talmon said.

Talmon said Israel's fight against Hamas did not allow the country to block humanitarian aid to Gaza's more than 2 million people under international humanitarian law.

'Humanitarian pause' would allow aid to get into Gaza

He said Israel was exercising "collective punishment," which is prohibited under international humanitarian law.

Talmon agreed with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in saying the rules of international humanitarian laws have been violated, first by the Hamas attacks on October 7 and then by Israel in its response.

Israel is not a signatory of the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court. However, Talmon reminded that the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank is a signatory.

Talmon said this gave the ICC "jurisdiction over the Palestinian occupied territories, and [it] could investigate any violations of international humanitarian law, both by Israel and by Hamas fighters."