International Court of Justice Rules That Israel Must Stop Killing Palestinians

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, January 26, 2024

The International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel must cease its warmaking in Gaza — cease committing and inciting genocidal acts — and that the case charging Israel with genocide must proceed.


By 15-2: Israel shall take all measures within its power to prevent all acts within the scope of Genocide Convention article 2

15-2: Israel must immediately ensure that its military does not commit acts within the scope of GC.2

16-1: Direct and punish all members of the public who engage in the incitement of genocide against Palestinians

16-1: Ensure provision of urgently needed basic services, humanitarian aid

15-2: Prevent the destruction of and ensure the preservation of evidence to allegation of acts of GC.2

15-2: Israel will submit report as to how they’re adhering to these orders to the ICJ within 1 month

This is Article 2 of the Genocide Convention:

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Therefore, Israel must cease killing Palestinians.

This was a make or break moment for international law, or rather a break or make-a-first-step moment. There is hope for the idea and reality of international law, but this is only a beginning.

The president of the International Court of Justice, who read the ruling, is Judge Joan Donoghue, former top legal advisor under Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department during the Obama Administration. She previously was the lawyer for the United States in its unsuccessful defense before the ICJ against charges by Nicaragua of minining its harbor.

The court voted for portions of this decision by 15-2 and 16-1. The “No” votes came from Judge Julia Sebutinde of Uganda and Ad Hoc Judge Aharon Barak of Israel.

The case presented by South Africa was overwhelming (read it or watch a key part of it), and Israel’s defense paper-thin. And the case just grew more overwhelming during the bizarre delay (yes, courts are slow, but this genocide is swift).

People all over the world built the pressure to move South Africa to act and other nations to add their support. Over 1,500 organizations signed a statement. Individuals signed a petition by CODEPINK, and sent almost 500,000 emails to key governments’ United Nations consulates through World BEYOND War and Click those links because more emails are needed now. While several nations have made public statements in support of South Africa’s case, we need them to file papers officially with the International Court of Justice. To reach out to additional national governments, go here.

Governments that have made statement in support of the case against genocide include Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan, Bolivia, the 57 nations of the Organization of Islamic Countries, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Maldives, Namibia, and Pakistan, Colombia, Brazil, and Cuba.

Germany has backed Israel’s defense against the charge of genocide, which has been denounced by Namibia, victimn of a German genocide. Prominent Jews have denounced Germany’s shameful action.

Mass demonstrations in the streets of the world have continued in support of peace and justice, and to a far greater extent than major media outlets have reported.

Here’s a discussion of this campaign for justice with Sam Husseini on Talk World Radio.

Prior to today’s ruling from the International Court of Justice, the U.S. government pointedly refused to say whether it would comply with ruling, despite insisting that other nations comply with rulings by the ICJ.

Hamas said that it would cease fire if Israel does, and release all prisoners if Israel does

Germany, to its credit, reportedly said that it would comply.

Arming a genocide is complicity in genocide. While Israel gets most of its weapons from the United States, other weaponry comes from Germany, Italy, the UK, and Canada — at least some of which nations also provide parts to U.S. weaponsmakers that provide weapons to Israel. Italian opposition demanded an end to it. And then the Foreign Minister claimed Italy had stopped shipments on Oct 7. Meanwhile, Canada is coming under pressure to cease shipments and prevarications. In Canada, Members of Parliament are among over 250 people hunger striking for an arms embargo on Israel.

People in the United States can tell Congress to stop arming Israel here or here.

President Joe Biden already faces a lawsuit for aiding and abetting genocide in Gaza. In November 2023, Palestinian human rights organizations, along with Gaza- and U.S.-based Palestinians, filed suit in a U.S. federal court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the Biden Administration for failing to prevent genocide, and for aiding and abetting genocide. The plaintiffs seek an order to end U.S. military and diplomatic support to Israel. A hearing to address the government’s motion to dismiss will be held at 9 a.m. PT / 12 noon ET today, Friday. The hearing will be webstreamed to the public.  You are encouraged to tune in and witness the U.S. government’s attempts at avoiding accountability and justify its support for the genocide that is happening in Gaza.

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