Response To The International Court Of Justice Provisional Measures & Reaction By The Israeli Embassy In Wellington
Today early morning (NZ time) the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its Order for provisional measures to be adopted by Israel with respect to the application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip by the South African government. Whilst this does not address the merit of the case of genocide, which will take three to four years , the ICJ has given decision which is binding and gives specific orders . This matter automatically goes to the Security Council under the Statutes of the ICJ as part of the UN Charter . Three important points have to be noted in this respect.
Firstly , given that vested individuals and organisations , as well as the Israeli government and its Embassy in Wellington have already started twisting the ICJ ruling , we have provided below the actual wording . We quote directly
“The Court considers 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 this Convention, in particular:
(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; and
(d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
The Court recalls that these acts fall within the scope of Article II of the Convention when they are committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a group as such. The Court further considers that Israel must ensure with immediate effect that its military forces do not commit any of the above-described acts.
The Court is also of the view that Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.
The Court further considers that Israel must take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Israel must also take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II and Article III of the Genocide Convention against members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.
Finally, in view of the specific provisional measures it has decided to indicate, the Court considers that Israel must submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this Order within one month, as from the date of this Order.
Secondly, as a result of the above provisional measures all 151 states, including NZ which are Party to the Genocide Convention, are under the clear obligation to also take steps to prevent genocide under Article 1.
We urgently seek NZ government’s clear and unambiguous position with respect to obligation to prevent genocide in Gaza. The NZ government stands to lose it hitherto highest international moral humanitarian standing by supporting the Israeli government’s ‘self-defense’ argument without specified limit, when the Israeli military response has exceeded to the point that it is now being considered as within the scope of Article II of the Genocide Convention. Delay in providing a clear statement by the NZ government would amount to a tacit acceptance of the Israeli position and a vacuous response to the above ICJ ruling thereby significantly damaging NZ’s international reputation.
In this respect , we consider the Israeli Embassy’s reaction today as misleading and irrelevant. Their role in NZ is only to legitimise the genocide and continue the same disrespect to NZ as it has done in the past as documented in our Advisory (https://fianz.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/FIANZ-ADVISORY-ADDRESSES-NZ-GOVERNMENT-AGENCIES-AND-THE-MEDIA-ON-THE-UNFOLDING-GENOCIDE-IN-GAZA.pdf ).
Thirdly, in our Advisory FIANZ recommended for Intervention under Article 63 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice in the case of the Application by South Africa against Israel and this is still valid and urgent . We have Intervened recently in the ICJ case with respect to the war in Ukraine and not doing so sends a confused message on NZ’s position on the latest ICJ Orders of provisional measures.
We also note, that some commentators have highlighted the ICJ have not asked for ceasefire. The same commentators should also be aware that to implement the ICJ Orders, there shall of necessity, has to be ceasefire. Unimpeded supply of humanitarian aid cannot occur without military cessation.
FIANZ, the national umbrella Muslim organisation, position on the genocide in Gaza and the lack of information by the NZ government agencies is in our Advisory: https://fianz.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/FIANZ-ADVISORY-ADDRESSES-NZ-GOVERNMENT-AGENCIES-AND-THE-MEDIA-ON-THE-UNFOLDING-GENOCIDE-IN-GAZA.pdf