An elderly Palestinian woman reacts in front of her home, damaged by Israeli bombardment, in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, on May 20, 2021. (Photo by AFP)
A political commentator says Israeli authorities could not commit various war crimes and acts of aggression against Palestinians, particularly the recent assaults on worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem al-Quds and bloody bombardment of the Gaza Strip, if they had not received the carte blanche from the United States.
"The US government gives Israel $3.8 billion in military aid annually, and consistently shields it from criticism in the UN Security Council," Marjorie Cohn, who is a professor emeritus at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, said in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Friday.
The American academic criticized the administration of US President Joe Biden for its double standards towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"While the Biden administration claims that Israel has the right to self-defense, it is silent about the Palestiniansí right to self-defense. In fact, under international law, Palestinians have a lawful right to resist Israelís occupation but Israel as an occupying power does not have the right to use military force in self-defense against the territory it occupies," Cohn said.
She noted that Israeli leaders are perpetrating the crime of apartheid, which is a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and the practice has been confirmed by the leading human rights group BíTselem as well as Human Rights Watch.
"The commission of inhumane acts in the context of an institutional regime of systematic oppression and domination over the Palestinians with the intent to maintain that regime is the definition of apartheid in the Rome Statute," Cohen said.
A ceasefire came into force in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Friday morning after Egypt brokered an agreement between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups to halt 11 days of conflict.
At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, were killed in the Israeli bombardment of the densely populated coastal enclave.
Speaking to thousands of people celebrating the ceasefire in Gaza City, a senior Hamas figure congratulated Palestinians on victory in the latest round of fighting with Israel.
"This is the euphoria of victory," Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of the groupís political bureau in the Gaza Strip, said. He also promised to reconstruct homes destroyed by Israeli air strikes.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian territory said in a report that more than 90,000 people in Gaza had been displaced due to Israeli bombardments.
"Hostilities have also resulted in additional displacement of Palestinians, bringing the cumulative number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to about 91,000, including 66,000 seeking protection in 58 UNRWA schools across Gaza and over 25,000 staying with host families," the organization said.