THE HAGUE – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) holds public hearings in the case Nicaragua v. Germany – oral arguments

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Nicaragua

Germany

Continue watching Nicarauga at https://webtv.un.org/en/asset/k1q/k1qoqif0lq

Verbatim record https://www.icj-cij.org/sites/default/files/case-related/193/193-20240408-ora-01-00-bi.pdf

Germany https://webtv.un.org/en/asset/k11/k11f8yi2wu

Verbatim record https://www.icj-cij.org/sites/default/files/case-related/193/193-20240409-ora-01-00-bi.pdf

German civil servants demand ‘immediate’ end to Israeli arms supplies by James Jackson

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A group of German civil servants have written to Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other senior ministers calling on the government to “cease arm deliveries to the Israeli government with immediate effect”.

“Israel is committing crimes in Gaza that are in clear contradiction to international law and thus to the Constitution, which we are bound to as federal civil servants and public employees,” the statement says, citing the International Court of Justice’s ruling in January that Israel’s military actions are “plausible acts of genocide”.

… The civil servants sent the statement via email to ministries last week, with the disclaimer that “due to the sensitive content and the excessive state repression that criticism in this area is met with, we want to remain anonymous”.

… Internationally, civil servants are increasingly speaking out against Western support of Israel. In February, 800 civil servants in the US and the European Union signed a “transatlantic statement” that warned Western support for Israel could amount to “grave violations of international law”, and complained of expert advice being ignored.

Continue reading at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/4/7/german-civil-servants-demand-immediate-end-to-israeli-arms-supplies

Read the full statement here https://www.instagram.com/the_james_jackson/p/C5ef14qsq8Y/

UN rights council demands halt to arms sales to Israel on AFP

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Geneva (AFP) – The UN Human Rights Council on Friday demanded a halt in all arms sales to Israel, highlighting warnings of “genocide” in its war in Gaza, which has killed more than 33,000 people. The resolution — which passed with 28 of the council’s 47 member states voting in favour, six opposed and 13 abstaining — marked the first time the United Nations top rights body has taken a position on the bloodiest-ever war to beset the besieged Palestinian territory.

…”We need you all to wake up and stop this genocide, a genocide televised around the world,” Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Mohammad Khraishi told the council before the vote.

Continue reading at https://www.rfi.fr/en/international-news/20240405-un-rights-council-demands-halt-to-arms-sales-to-israel

Former supreme court judges say UK arming Israel breaches international law on the Guardian

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Three former supreme court justices, including the court’s former president Lady Hale, are among more than 600 lawyers, academics and retired senior judges warning that the UK government is breaching international law by continuing to arm Israel.

In a letter to the prime minister, the signatories, who also include former court of appeal judges and more than 60 KCs, say that the present situation in Gaza is “catastrophic” and that given the international court of justice (ICJ) finding that there is a plausible risk of genocide being committed, the UK is legally obliged to act to prevent it.

Continue reading at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/apr/03/former-supreme-court-judges-say-uk-arming-israel-breaches-international-law

For the full letter https://lawyersletter.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Gaza-letter-FIN-3-April.pdf

The “Capacity to Influence”, State Responsibility, and the Obligation to Prevent Genocide by Jinan Bastaki

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  • Perhaps the most clear example of failing to prevent is the provision of weapons (which, if states knew of the intent to commit genocide, and genocide is indeed found to have been committed, can make them complicit in its commission). Several European countries, including Belgium, Italy, and Spain suspended arms transfer to Israel, and a statement issued by UN experts warned that any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law. As a result of a petition by Dutch NGOs, the Court of Appeal in the Hague ordered the state to stop all export and transit of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel. 

…The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides support for almost 2 million people in Gaza, and has by far the greatest capacity to aid and assist those in Gaza as well as access to different parts of the Strip. As a result of unsubstantiated allegations against it following the ICJ’s order, several major states decided to cut off funding. Within the context of famine setting in and the blocking of aid from entering Gaza and particularly in the north, the severing of UNRWA aid assists in inflicting severe bodily and mental harm (Genocide Convention, Article 1C) upon the population, as well as creating conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part (Article 1C). 

…The non-exhaustive categories cited in the Bosnia v Serbia case were “political, military and financial links,” as well as “links of any kind.” The Court specifically noted that the strength of these links gave Serbia influence unlike any other state party to the Genocide Convention (para. 434) and it encompassed “all those with whom the Respondent maintained close links and on which it could exert a certain influence,” (para. 435). The responsibility of the authorities was to make “the best efforts within their power to try and prevent the tragic events then taking shape,” (para. 438). As stated previously, states are to contribute to restraining in any degree.

Does this encompass significant trade between countries? One country cutting economic ties may or may not help to prevent genocide, but as the Court pointed out, the duty is to act, and “the combined efforts of several States, each complying with its obligation to prevent” (para. 430) may avert the commission of genocide. As an example, the Japanese company Itochu severed its relationship with Elbit systems, the Israeli defense contractor. The agreement between them was not for the transfer of weapons or the provision of Japanese technology for the Israeli military, but rather to procure material for the Japanese military. Still, as a result of the ICJ’s provisional measures order on the 26th of January and “that the Japanese government supports the role of the Court,” Itochu Aviation decided to suspend cooperation. This is significant as, while Itochu is a general trading company, the partnership with Elbit was based on a request from Japan’s defense ministry. 

… An argument can be made for the fact that several countries, each putting major economic and diplomatic pressure, by cutting off or suspending trade deals, cooperation, and the like, can have a combined effect of, at the very least, restraining Israel.

Continue reading at https://opiniojuris.org/2024/03/30/the-capacity-to-influence-state-responsibility-and-the-obligation-to-prevent-genocide/

Anatomy of a Genocide by Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Francesca Albanese

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  • After five months of military operations, Israel has destroyed Gaza. Over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 13,000 children. Over 12,000 are presumed dead and 71,000 injured, many with life-changing mutilations. Seventy percent of residential areas have been destroyed. Eighty percent of the whole population has been forcibly displaced. Thousands of families have lost loved ones or have been wiped out. Many could not bury and mourn their relatives, forced instead to leave their bodies decomposing in homes, in the street or under the rubble. Thousands have been detained and systematically subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. The incalculable collective trauma will be experienced for generations to come.

  • By analysing the patterns of violence and Israel’s policies in its onslaught on Gaza, this report concludes that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met. One of the key findings is that Israel’s executive and military leadership and soldiers have intentionally distorted jus in bello principles, subverting their protective functions, in an attempt to legitimize genocidal violence against the Palestinian people.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/documents/hrbodies/hrcouncil/sessions-regular/session55/advance-versions/a-hrc-55-73-auv.pdf

Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epKY2ZzjZUc

Q&A https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8512p-80wI

NGOs sue the Danish state to stop arms exports to Israel by Al-Haq

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  • Oxfam Denmark, Amnesty International Denmark, Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke (Action Aid Denmark) and the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq are suing the Danish National Police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to stop Danish arms exports to Israel.
  • There is a clear risk that weapons and military equipment that Denmark directly and indirectly exports to Israel will be used to commit serious crimes against civilians in Gaza. In doing so, Denmark violates international rules on arms trade and risks becoming complicit in violations of international humanitarian law – including war crimes – and a plausible genocide. 

Continue reading at https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/22793.html

Lawsuit Filed Against Canadian Government to Stop Arms Exports to Israel by Al-Haq

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  • TORONTO – A group of Canadian and Palestinian applicants have commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court against the Canadian government to stop arms exports to Israel. The applicants are seeking a court order that the Government of Canada cease issuing export permits for all military goods and technology destined for Israel, and that the issuing of these permits be declared unlawful under Canadian and international law. 

… The lawsuit comes on the heels of the near unanimous January 26, 2024 ruling of the International Court of Justice which found that a “plausible” case for genocide in Gaza was made out and reiterated the obligation of States to prevent genocide. On February 23, 2024, UN experts released a statement warning that “[a]ny transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law”, and urged States to immediately halt arms transfers to Israel.

… The lawsuit is part of a growing trend of similar lawsuits filed in countries like the US, the UK, and the Netherlands, where an appeals court found that “it is undeniable that there is a clear risk that the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law”. Other countries like Spain, Italy, and Belgium have also announced that they have suspended arms sales to Israel due to the ongoing atrocities.

The lawsuit follows a letter sent by the applicants in January that notified the government that approving the export of Canadian military goods and technology destined for Israel violates both Canadian and international law. The letter demanded a response from Canada confirming that it had stopped this illegal activity within fourteen days. After receiving no response, the applicants commenced legal proceedings.

Continue reading at https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/22770.html

UN experts condemn ‘flour massacre’, urge Israel to end campaign of starvation in Gaza by Michael Fakhri

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  • “Israel has been intentionally starving the Palestinian people in Gaza since 8 October. Now it is targeting civilians seeking humanitarian aid and humanitarian convoys,” the UN experts said. 
  • … Israeli troops fired on crowds of Palestinians gathered to collect flour in the south-west of Gaza City on 29 February, killing at least 112 people and injuring some 760.
  • “The attack came after Israel has denied humanitarian aid into Gaza City and northern Gaza for more than a month,” the experts said.
  • They noted that the 29 February massacre followed a pattern of Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians seeking aid, with over 14 recorded incidents of shooting, shelling and targeting groups gathered to receive urgently needed supplies from trucks or airdrops between mid-January and the end of February 2024.
  • “Israel has also opened fire on humanitarian aid convoys on several occasions, despite the fact that the convoys shared their coordinates with Israel,” the experts said.
  • On 26 January, the International Court of Justice recognised the plausibility of Israel committing genocide and ordered it to allow the delivery of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

… Fifteen children have already died of malnutrition at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza City, and there are fears that the figures could be higher in other hospitals. 

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/03/un-experts-condemn-flour-massacre-urge-israel-end-campaign-starvation-gaza