Russia Slams Israel’s Defense

During a session at the United Nations on Wednesday, the Russian delegate to the UN asserted that Israel is not entitled to self-defense rights.

Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly during a special meeting about the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya challenged the stance of the United States and its allies regarding Israel’s self-defense claims. He referenced a ruling from the International Court of Justice in 2004, which, according to Nebenzya, verified that Israel, as an occupying force, lacks the right to self-defense.

The conflict escalated after a massive incursion on Oct. 7 by armed individuals from Gaza into Israel resulted in the tragic loss of at least 1,400 lives, with more than 5,000 people injured and over 200 individuals taken back to Gaza. Reports emerged of heinous acts, including killings and other brutalities.

The advisory opinion by the ICJ in 2004 suggested that Israel couldn’t claim an inherent right to self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter if faced with threats from a territory it occupied. Notably, though, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and the area has since been under the administration of Hamas, which is recognized by many countries, including the United States, as a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel.

In a recent move at the U.N., Russia and China blocked a U.S.-proposed Security Council resolution that aimed to denounce Hamas for its actions and suggested “humanitarian pauses” in the ongoing conflict. Additionally, a Russian-proposed resolution, which rebuked Hamas yet also criticized “indiscriminate attacks” on Gaza civilians and demanded an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” was not adopted.

This marked the second time a Russian proposal concerning the war between Israel and Hamas was turned down by the U.N.