Algiers (Agencies): The Hague, March 9, 2024: In a crucial session of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Algeria sounded a grave warning regarding the potential use of chemical weapons by the Israeli occupation in its aggression against the Gaza Strip. Algeria, represented by Ambassador Salima Abdelhak, currently holding the position of vice-president of the OPCW’s Executive Council, raised concerns about Israel’s persistent violation of international law and its possible resort to chemical weapons.

The alarm was sounded during the 105th session of the Executive Council, where Ambassador Abdelhak expressed apprehensions about the re-emergence of chemical weapons and their potential use by non-state actors, especially within the ongoing armed conflicts worldwide. She strongly condemned the acts and atrocities committed by the Israeli occupier against the Palestinian people, emphasizing the urgent need for international attention.

Ambassador Abdelhak specifically highlighted the risk of the occupying power, Israel, employing chemical weapons in its conflict with the Palestinians. She pointed out that Israel, not being a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, is not bound by its provisions. Moreover, she conveyed Algeria’s support for Palestine’s request for assistance to the Technical Secretariat in investigating the potential use of chemical weapons in the region.

Stressing the importance of comprehensive efforts by the OPCW, Abdelhak underlined the catastrophic situation in Gaza as further evidence of the urgent need to ensure the compliance of all states with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The Algerian representative also drew attention to the escalating threat of chemical terrorism in regions of tension where terrorist groups could exploit technological advancements, including artificial intelligence, for the manufacturing and development of chemical weapons. In light of these risks, Ambassador Abdelhak called for strengthened international cooperation based on the directives of the Fifth Review Conference and the work of the Working Group on Terrorism, emphasizing the implementation of Article 10 of the Convention to prevent and protect against these threats.

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