World Court Orders Israel to Abide by Genocide Convention and Stop Killing

by Sam Husseini, published on Sam’s Substack, January 26, 2024

I put together this news release for accuracy.org this morning:

World Court Orders Israel to Abide by Genocide Convention and Stop Killing

The International Court of Justice on Friday morning ordered:

“The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular: (a) killing members of the group. …”  See full video and clip.

South African foreign minister Naledi Pandor at The Hague said she would have wanted the ICJ (also known as the World Court) to explicitly call for a ceasefire, as South Africa asked for, but says the only way Israel can meet the order of the court is for there to be a ceasefire. See below for further analysis of this.

See news release: “International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine Welcomes Today’s ICJ Order; Demands its Implementation,” which among other things, calls on an escalation of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions — modeled on activism against apartheid South Africa — against Israel.

FRANCIS BOYLE,
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Boyle’s books include The Bosnian People Charge Genocide (1996) Palestine, Palestinians and International Law (2009) and World Politics, Human Rights and International Law (2021). He was featured on the news release “On Israel: Lawyer Who Applied Genocide Convention for Bosnia Recommends it Now for Palestinians.” See his recent interview with “Democracy Now.”

He said today:

“This is a massive, overwhelming legal victory for the Republic of South Africa against Israel on behalf of the Palestinians. The UN General Assembly now can suspend Israel from participation in its activities as it did for South Africa and Yugoslavia. It can admit Palestine as a full member. And — especially since the International Criminal Court has been a farce — it can establish a tribunal to prosecute the highest level officials of the Israeli government, both civilian and military.”

CRAIG MOKHIBER, , @CraigMokhiber
Mokhiber is an International human rights lawyer and former Director of the New York Office of the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, who stepped down from his post in 2023 and penned a now-viral letter on unfolding genocide and the UN’s failures.

He said today:

“The ICJ has ruled on provisional measures in the Genocide case against Israel, which must immediately stop killing and harming people in Gaza and inflicting destructive conditions on them, punish incitement, allow all humanitarian aid, save evidence and report next month.

“Not a ceasefire exactly, but they are ordered to stop the acts that were complained about in the application — killing, harming, destruction, etc.

“This may be less than ideal because Israel will likely continue while claiming military necessity and lawful intent. The mandated report next month and the court’s response will therefore be crucial.

“But this is already an important victory. The court ruled that South Africa’s genocide claim is ‘plausible’ at this stage and ordered Israel to stop all related acts and allow relief to the people of Gaza.

“Senior officials in the U.S. and the West who argued — outrageously — that the case was completely baseless and without merit must now contend with a ruling by the World Court that the case is indeed plausible and requires immediate provisional measures. [See Thursday State Department briefing highlights from Decensored News.]

“Israel, accustomed to impunity, is unlikely to comply. Whether or not they report back to the court next month on measures, the Court will have to act again. And the Security Council can be called to act on non-compliance at any time. The complicit US will then likely veto action.

“The General Assembly would then be convened to act. A strong resolution there could call for specific legal, economic, political, diplomatic, consular, organizational and other measures. And individual states and regional orgs should act as well, as a matter of legal duty under the convention and under the Charter.

“In sum, while imperfect without a call for an unconditional ceasefire, the court’s order is a historic and powerful tool in the struggle against Israeli impunity, further empowering states, organizations and activists to step up pressure on the apartheid regime.

“Time now for all to act to turn the order into the change necessary to bring accountability for the perpetrators, redress for victims, and protection for the vulnerable.”

See from David Swanson: “International Court of Justice Rules That Israel Must Stop Killing Palestinians.”

Ali Abunimah commented:

“The International Court of Justice ruled that accusation of genocide against Israel is credible, that Palestinians face urgent, catastrophic situation and that Israeli leaders express genocidal intent. It ordered Israel to immediately halt killing and all other prohibited acts under Genocide Convention. …. A ‘ceasefire’ is what you demand in an armed conflict. In a genocide you demand an immediate end to all genocidal acts and that is exactly what the ICJ ordered with immediate effect.”

Later today, the Center for Constitutional Rights genocide case against the Biden administration for enabling Israel proceeds. See interview on Intercepted.

Editor’s note: On first reading the judgement, I was disappointed.  The Palestinians will not be instantly saved.  It tears the heart to know that.  However, I think this is a more reasonable assessment of events after the truly historic presentation by the South African team, it is equally historic to see a near unanimous judgement that confirms their claim.

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