ICJ Orders Israel to ‘Immediately Halt Its Military Offensive’ in Rafah

by Sam Husseini, published on the Institute for Public Accuracy,  May 24, 2023

UN whistleblower Craig Mokhiber just posted on X: “BREAKING: The #ICJ has just ruled in favor of additional provisional measures in the Genocide case against Israel, ordering Israel to immediately halt its military offensive and other activities in Rafah and to allow aid and genocide investigators in.”

He added that the 13-2 decision “was supported by almost all judges. Only [Julia] Sebutinde (the Ugandan judge who always votes in favor of Israel) and [Aharon] Barak (the Israeli ad hoc judge) voted against. Barak was absent from the courtroom.” See video clip, full video, and written Orders on X and PDF.

The Court stated: “Israel must immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

See recent oral arguments by South Africa which led to today’s additional Orders.

FRANCIS BOYLE,
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He represented Bosnia at the International Court of Justice in its Genocide Convention case against Yugoslavia. He has been interviewed by MSNBC, CBS News and other outlets on the South Africa case. See prior IPA news releases.

He said today: “Congratulations to the Republic of South Africa and to the International Court of Justice! Exactly what we need to stop the ongoing genocidal humanitarian catastrophe in Rafah at the United Nations Security Council and in the United Nations General Assembly under the Uniting For Peace Resolution.”

See IPA news release: “New World Court Order Against Israel: Could Uniting for Peace Stop Israel’s Assault?”  about how the General Assembly can address repeated U.S. government vetoes of resolutions addressing Israel’s actions in the UN Security Council.  [reprinted below]


New World Court Order Against Israel: Could Uniting for Peace Stop Israel’s Assault?

This article discusses a possible road for the United Nations General Assembly to cross the U.S. red line.   My only concern is that in most of the other cases, the U.S. favored this action.  But in any case, they cannot directly veto it.

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now stated that the U.S.’s acceptance of Israel’s assurances that U.S. weapons are not being used in rights violations “is absurd. It invites global mockery and disdain to hear such a statement issued in front of the world by the Biden administration.”

Commondreams reports on the latest from the World Court: “ICJ Issues New Order in Genocide Case as Another Gaza Child Starves to Death.”

FRANCIS BOYLE,
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the ICJ noted a number of shortcomings in the latest International Court of Justice Orders. South Africa’s suit against Israel quotes from Boyle’s suit against Yugoslavia. Boyle said: “If Israel invades Rafah as it is currently planning to do and inflicts tremendous civilian casualties on the Palestinians there that will undoubtedly happen, the ICJ will have more genocidal egg on its face just like when it refused to give me what I asked for in my Second Request for Provisional Measures of Protection followed by the Genocidal Massacre at Srebrenica. RSA [Republic of South Africa] warned them of this outcome if they did not give RSA what it was asking. The Court did not give RSA what it was asking for. I shudder to think of the consequences.” Boyle also refuted the Biden administration’s claim that the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire was “non-binding.”

What’s needed, Boyle — as well as others, like former UN official Craig Mokhiber — argued is

for the UN General Assembly to address the issue through a Uniting for Peace resolution to:

Suspend Israel from participation in its activities as the General Assembly did to the former criminal apartheid regime in South Africa and to the genocidal Yugoslavia;

Set up an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel in order to prosecute its highest level civilian and military officials for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide;

Recommend economic sanctions against Israel;

Recommend UN members sever diplomatic relations with Israel;

Admit Palestine as a full fledged UN member state.”

Boyle, a dual U.S.-Irish national, also welcomed news that Ireland would join the South Africa ICJ Genocide Case against Israel and urged activists to continue to petition other countries to join the suit. Only Nicaragua has done so.

The ICJ has given the dates of April 8 and 9 to hear Nicaragua’s own suit against Germany under the Genocide Convention. See Boyle’s comments on that case. Ramadan ends around April 9 and many speculate that that could be when Israel invades Rafah.

Nicaragua charges: “Germany has provided political, financial and military support to Israel fully aware at the time of authorization that the military equipment would be used in the commission of great breaches of international law by this State and in disregard of its own obligations.”

On Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller rebuffed the possibility of Uniting for Peace proceeding at the UN.

Also on Wednesday, Miller, in response to a question from Sam Husseini about whether the State Department recognized that the Geneva Conventions applied to the occupied Palestinian territories, proclaimed: “We of course accept the Geneva Conventions”; but after the Thursday briefing when asked why he didn’t specify occupied Palestinian territory, he said: “I said exactly what I meant” and refused to address if the State Department recognized the Geneva Conventions for the Palestinians. Boyle had warned in November that such a posture would turn “Gaza into a free-fire zone.” [as indeed it has – jb]

In December, Akbar Shahid Ahmed reported in Huffington Post in “Amid U.N. Security Council Intrigue, U.S. Privately Moves To Block Another Option For International Accountability For Gaza” that: “The Biden administration is finalizing plans to urge Switzerland to reject a request from Palestine and its supporters to hold a conference on violations of the Geneva Conventions.”

Middle East Monitor reports: “U.S. threatens to cut funding to Palestinian Authority if it obtains UN recognition, supports ICC case against Israel.”

*Featured Image: International Court of Justice ruled today that Israel must immediately cease its Rafah assault and allow humanitarian aid through the crossing. src: Yahoo News

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