Justice for All Canada Statement: International Court of Justice Decision to Impose Provisional Measures Over Gaza GenocideWritten by Justice for All Canada
January 26, 2024 Justice For All Canada acknowledges the granting of binding provisional measures by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case concerning South Africa’s application regarding violations of the Genocide Convention by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
The ICJ has noted that at least some of Israel’s acts in the Gaza strip appear to be capable of falling within the provisions of the Genocide Convention, and that it is necessary to impose provisional measures to protect the rights of Palestinians.
Since the moment South Africa submitted its application to the Court, over 4,000 action takers have written to the Canadian government to take a stronger stance in supporting diplomatic initiatives toward halting the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Gaza.
The Court has ordered that Israel:
1. Take all measures within its power to prevent genocidal acts against Palestinians under Article 2 of the Genocide Convention, in particular:
(a) Killing members of the Palestinians
(b) Preventing Physical and or Mental Harm to Palestinians
(c) Preventing Physical Destruction or Harm
(d) Preventing the birth of Palestinians.
2. Ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any acts described above.
3. Take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
4. 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.
5. Take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence.
6. Submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to its order within one month.
While the above provisional orders are a step in the right direction, we express our profound disappointment that the Court did not explicitly order some of the other provisional measures requested by South Africa, including:
- That Israel immediately suspend its military operations in the Gaza Strip.
- That Israel desist from, and take all measures within its power including the rescinding of relevant order, of restrictions and/or of prohibitions to prevent the expulsion and forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes.
- That Israel shall allow access by fact-finding missions, international mandates, and other bodies to Gaza to assist in ensuring the preservation and retention of evidence.
- That Israel submit its report of compliance within the Genocide Convention within one week (as opposed to one month).
The ICJ also highlighted the humanitarian crisis faced by Palestinians in Gaza. Israel’s large-scale military assault by land, air, and sea has amounted to the killing of at least 25,700 Palestinians and the wounding of at least 63,000, many of whom are women and children.
Israel’s constant bombardment has also resulted in significant destruction to Palestinian civil society infrastructure, including over 360,000 housing units, and has led to the internal displacement of 1.7 million people. Further, Israel’s restrictions on food, water, humanitarian aid, and medical assistance have exacerbated the crisis, with 93% of Gaza’s population facing severe hunger. By quoting various experts, the Court noted that Gaza has become a place of devastating levels of death and destruction, and is fast deteriorating into a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications which must be avoided at all costs.
The Court also made note of the compounding of dehumanizing language by senior Israeli officials, and cited a press release issued by 37 UN experts voicing alarm over “discernibly genocidal and dehumanizing rhetoric coming from senior Israeli government officials”.
Moreover, the Court noted that Israel has taken insufficient steps to address and alleviate the conditions faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
1. As a genocide-prevention organization, Justice for All Canada urges the international community to recognize the ongoing Israeli atrocity crimes faced by the Palestinian people, and emphasize the need for comprehensive measures to protect and safeguard their lives.
2. We call for immediate and sustained diplomatic action to ensure the effective implementation of the granted measures.
3. We highlight the importance of continued international efforts to achieve civilian protection and demand accountability.
4. As a purported champion of international human rights, the Canadian government must actively support and encourage the implementation of the measures granted by the ICJ as a first remedial step towards reconciliation on behalf of the Palestinian people.