Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka has clarified Fiji’s position on the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution titled: “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Rabuka said Fiji’s intended presentation at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague specifically responds to the December 2022 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 77/247 and this resolution was adopted well before the Hamas assault on Israel on 7th October 2023.

He said among other countries, Fiji also made a written submission in 2023.

“Of the 57 countries that opted to make oral presentations, 11 countries including Fiji, are concerned with the abuse of the ICJ on matters that should follow already established legally binding agreements and processes that were agreed to by the parties and endorsed at the international level.”

“In the same vein, there are legally binding agreements and agreed processes for the Israel-Palestinian issue.”

On the question before the ICJ, the Prime Minister said Fiji’s main concerns are that the country underscores the importance of maintaining and upholding existing and binding legal framework including those established specifically to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; that an Advisory Opinion on the legal consequences of the alleged infringements of international law touches the core of the ongoing conflict and requires the Court to settle law in relation to the whole conflict.

He said Fiji is therefore concerned that the current case sets precedence, for other ongoing conflicts that maybe referred to the Court, thereby undermining the Courts integrity and the Court must not be used as a political playground to assert long-held presumptions and biases, and in the course of doing so, misusing international law, against its intended purpose.

“In upholding its principled positions on matters that impact our core values, Fiji will continue to stand for what is right for the dignity of humankind,” said Rabuka.

FijiFirst leader and former Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said: “Far more telling is what this statement doesn’t say: that Fiji’s coalition believes it knows better than international institutions and experts of law (and the legal teams of every other nation on Earth).

This isn’t just an embarrassment, it’s a license for lawless violence,” Bainimarama said on X formerly twitter.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry has deplored the stand taken by the Peoples Coalition Government in its support for the unlawful Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

Chaudhry said while Israel’s right to defend itself and its people against external attacks is fully understood, its massacre of a defenceless people, among them the elderly and the children, and its ruthless demolition of civilian targets, including hospitals and homes, is to be roundly condemned.

“Fiji is the only country, aside from the United States, to lend support to Israel in the current proceedings.”

“To end this decades old conflict, majority world opinion favours the Palestinians getting their occupied territories back, with full recognition as an independent sovereign state.”

“The Palestinians right to self-determination must be respected,” he said.