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Israel's Allies Risk Complicity In Genocide If They Block Enforcement Of ICJ's Rafah Order: Expert

24.05.2024 22:57

It is imperative that any UN Security Council move related to compliance of ICJ order is not vetoed by states such as US and UK, says Zaki Sarraf of International Center of Justice for Palestinians.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling ordering Israel to halt its Rafah offensive is a step in the right direction, but the critical issue now is compliance, according to a legal expert.

"Israel has shown an absolute and total disregard of international law, and the previous orders of the ICJ, so the next step from this ruling is compliance and respect for the law," Zaki Sarraf, legal officer at the International Center of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), told Anadolu.

"But considering that this is the first cease-fire order from the ICJ, it's a step in the right direction. We would have hoped it went further, but the most important aspect moving forwards now is compliance."

On Friday, the top UN court, besides reaffirming its Jan. 26 and March 28 orders, told Israel to "immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action" in Rafah "which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

Israel has also been ordered to "maintain open the Rafah crossing for unhindered provision at scale of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance" and "take effective measures to ensure the unimpeded access to the Gaza Strip of any commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission or other investigative body mandated by competent organs of the United Nations to investigate allegations of genocide."

The court has given Israel one month to submit a report on all measures taken to implement these orders.

"It's imperative that Israel complies with the order," Sarraf reiterated.

"As we know, South Africa's Foreign Ministry have confirmed that they are taking the ICJ ruling to the UN Security Council to ensure the order is complied with. So it is imperative that any UN Security Council resolution related to compliance on this order is respected and not vetoed to ensure the lives of Palestinians are protected."

Complicity of Western allies

The international community has a crucial role to play in the enforcement of the ICJ orders and "it's very important that they are consistent and uphold the rule of law," said Sarraf.

"Israel's allies, such as the US and UK, cannot be complicit. This means, arms sales, for example, should be immediately suspended and states should not be providing diplomatic cover for Israel's egregious violations of international law, for example, by not vetoing any UN Security Council resolution focused on the compliance with this order."

If these countries continue to support Israel and block attempts to hold it accountable, they face the very real risk of facing charges of "complicity in genocide" outlined in Article III of the Genocide Convention, he said.

"If states such as the US and the UK provide diplomatic cover or they provide political cover or they continue selling arms to Israel, this could amount to complicity in what ICJ have already ruled as a plausible genocide against the Palestinians," he added. -



 
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