International Court of Justice: Israel Must Cease All Activities That May Constitute Genocide, Punish Genocidal Officials and Allow Humanitarian Aid into Gaza

Palestinian flags outside the International Court of Justice in The Hague on Friday, January 26, 2024, as the Court’s President, Joan Donoghue, read out the court’s ruling regarding provisional measures relating to South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide. (Photo: Patrick Post/AP).

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Make no mistake about it. Today’s ruling, by the International Court of Justice, imposing provisional measures on Israel under the 1948 Genocide Convention, in response to a submission submitted by South Africa, and argued before the Court on December 29, is hugely significant.

By a majority of 15-2, and in some cases 16-1, the Court found that South Africa had established a compelling case that Israel’s actions, in response to the attacks by Hamas and other armed groups on October 7, were so severe that it is plausible that they constitute genocidal intent under Article II of the Genocide Convention; namely, “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”, via “killing members of the group”, “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group”, “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part”, and “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”

The Court duly ordered that “Israel must, in accordance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention, 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 [the] Convention”, and “must ensure with immediate effect that its military forces do not commit any of the above-described acts.”

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Radio: Andy Worthington Discusses the Potential Closure of Guantánamo with Chris Cook in Canada and on South African Radio

Andy Worthington (center) and Aliya Hussain of the Center for Constitutional Rights outside the White House on January 11, 2016, the 14th anniversary of the opening of the prison. Behind Andy is the giant inflatable figure of Shaker Aamer that was at the heart of the We Stand With Shaker campaign (Photo: Justin Norman for Witness Against Torture).It’s been a busy month — firstly, with my visit to the US to campaign for the closure of Guantánamo, focused on the 14th anniversary of the opening of the prison on January 11, and then with the launch of my new campaign, the Countdown to Close Guantánamo, on January 20. That campaign was officially launched on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, when I appeared with Roger Waters, a supporter of my work and of the campaign to get Guantánamo closed, who also played a major role in publicizing the We Stand With Shaker campaign that I launched in November 2014, with the activist Joanne MacInnes, to secure the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo.

On Wednesday, I spoke to Chris Cook for his Gorilla Radio show in British Columbia. Chris and I last spoke a year ago, and our latest interview is available here as an MP3, beginning at 38:20.

Chris and I spoke about my tour, Roger Waters, the successful campaign to get Shaker released the Countdown to Close Guantánamo and how the prison might finally be closed, and I hope you have time to listen to the show. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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