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Former Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers commend South Africa for charging Israel for genocide before ICJ

Posted: Monday, January 29, 2024. 3:59 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Former Prime Ministers Said Musa and Dean Barrow along with Former Foreign Ministers Eamon Courtenay, Godfrey Smith and Assad Shoman issued a statement commending the Republic of South Africa for charging Israel before the ICJ with the crime of genocide.

“In doing so they were almost alone in the world in fulfilling their obligation under the Genocide Convention. But their action will serve now to reanimate the global conscience. It is a reminder and spur for others to do everything possible to prevent a genocide in progress,” the Ministers’ expressed.

“We, like many other Belizeans, had hoped that the ICJ would order an immediate ceasefire. But we note that the Court ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent killing or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; to ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any such acts; to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide; and to 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 Gaza,” the Ministers’ added.

In addition, the Ministers’ say that the Court’s Order vindicates the decision of the government of Belize to have suspended relations with Israel.

“We suggest a reconsideration by those, such as some of the Evangelical Churches, that condemned GOB’s move. Indeed, they should now join the call for Israel to prevent continuing genocide; to stop the slaughter that has already so wantonly destroyed tens of thousands of innocent civilian lives and made a wasteland of the small area into which over two million people were laid siege to by Israel,” the Ministers’ added.

The judgment cites reports from various UN agencies and concludes: “The Court notes that the military operation being conducted by Israel following the attack of 7 October 2023 has resulted in a large number of deaths and injuries, as well as the massive destruction of homes, the forcible displacement of the vast majority of the population, and extensive damage to civilian infrastructure”.

It also quotes the UN report stating that: “People are facing the highest levels of food insecurity ever recorded. Famine is around the corner. For children in particular, the past 12 weeks have been traumatic: No food. No water. No school. Nothing but the terrifying sounds of war, day in and day out”.

The Ministers’ noted that the most significant part of the ruling is this: “The State of Israel shall 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”.

The orders are not left up in the air. Israel must submit regular reports, the first within a month, to prove its compliance.

“Nobody expects Israel to comply. It believes that it enjoys immunity from all civilised laws of mankind. But that is where the Security Council comes in, the body authorised by the UN Charter to enforce the findings of the ICJ. The General Assembly can also play a pivotal role in the enforcement process over time,” they further expressed.

 

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