Israel is violating international law by committing war crimes and genocide in the Gaza Strip, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.,, The South African leader also said his country wants an immediate and comprehensive cease-fire in Gaza, as well as opening of humanitarian corridors. Ramaphosa further said that the International Criminal Court should urgently start prosecution procedures against those responsible for the perpetration of war crimes.
ICJ calls upon States who have a position of influence with the Government of Israel – particularly the United States – to take all reasonable measures within their power to prevent genocide in Gaza, including by calling for a ceasefire, taking steps to ensure the lifting of the siege and preventing the displacement of Palestinians outside the Gaza Strip, and to discontinue any military assistance, including arms sales, that would enable or facilitate genocide, and other crimes under International law.
The ICJ urges other States to immediately act under article VIII of the Genocide Convention, by calling on the competent organs of the United Nations, including the UN Security Council, and particularly the UN General Assembly, to take urgent action under the UN Charter appropriate for the prevention and suppression of any acts of genocide in Gaza, including calling for an immediate ceasefire.
The ICJ also calls on UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, and the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC, to rapidly expand their investigations in relation to the situation in Palestine to include genocide.
On Monday, the plaintiffs, represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights with the law firm of Van Der Hout, LLP, sued Biden, Blinken, and Austin for their failure to prevent genocide. Now the plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction that would halt U.S. support for Israel as it carries out its assault and siege on Gaza while the broader case is being decided. It is needed, they say, to protect them from “irreparable harm.” Some of the plaintiffs face a grave risk of death as a result of Israel’s war on Gaza, which U.S. officials are aiding. Collectively, at least 116 of the plaintiffs’ family members have already been killed in Gaza by Israel since October 8th.
“Our team has had to update more than once the numbers of our clients’ relatives who have been killed as we prepared this lawsuit and motion,” said Astha Sharma Pokharel, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “There is no starker illustration of how urgently this injunction is needed.”
French lawyer, Gilles Devers took the initiative to mobilize an “army of lawyers” within 10 days.
Devers confirmed in a televised interview that the list includes 300 lawyers so far, and 3,000 more can be collected, noting that the door to joining is still open to anyone “as witnesses to Israeli crimes.”
Devers said: “We submitted a complaint to the Public Prosecutor on behalf of associations and unions committing genocide, and the Palestinian issue will be presented in all national and international courts,” pointing out that “governments can do something.”
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Three Palestinian rights groups have filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging the body to investigate Israel for “apartheid” as well as “genocide” and issue arrest warrants for Israeli leaders.
The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday by human rights organisations Al-Haq, Al Mezan, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, called for “urgent attention to the continuous barrage of Israeli airstrikes on densely populated civilian areas within the Gaza Strip”, which have killed more than 10,500 Palestinians, almost half of them children, according to Gaza health officials.
… The three groups want arrest warrants to be issued against Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.
The ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) opened an official investigation into the situation in Palestine in 2021 after determining that “war crimes have been or are being committed by Palestinian and Israeli actors in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip”.
Dear Congressional Representatives:
We understand that you will be voting on the emergency military funding package to Israel. We write to notify you of the legal liabilities of voting for that package, and to demand that you vote against the military assistance package.
The aid package will provide funds to Israel to, inter alia, support its ongoing genocide of, and war crimes against, Palestinians who are confined to the Gaza Strip, and to support apartheid and ethnic cleansing, and the underlying crimes of forcible transfer and deportation, in the West Bank. As the United States is a signatory to both the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Genocide Convention, it has an obligation to respect and ensure respect for the obligations in those international treaties, including to prevent the commission of genocide and to prevent and punish the commission of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions – not aid and abet them.
Please take notice that should you vote in favor of that package, you risk facing criminal and civil liability for aiding and abetting genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law, and may face investigation and prosecution at the International Criminal Court, and in third-states under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
GENEVA (2 November 2023) – Time is running out to prevent genocide and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, UN experts warned today, expressing deep frustration with Israel’s refusal to halt plans to decimate the besieged Gaza strip.
“We remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide,” the experts said. “The time for action is now. Israel’s allies also bear responsibility and must act now to prevent its disastrous course of action,” they said.
There is plausible and credible case, based on powerful factual evidence, that Israel is attempting to commit, if not actively committing, the crime of genocide in the occupied Palestinian territory, and specifically against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. The gravest of crimes under international law, genocide refers to specific actions – such as killing or deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the destruction of the group in whole or in part – taken with the intention of destroying, in whole or in part, the group targeted, including on ethnic or national grounds.
On 19 October 2023, 100 civil society organisations (CSOs), including Palestinian organisations monitoring and documenting violations of international humanitarian law against Palestinian civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip, and Genocide Scholars sent a letter to Karim Khan, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The letter urged Prosecutor Khan’s immediate intervention in relation to the latest Israeli large-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip. Specifically, we are calling on the Court to urgently issue arrest warrants for the cases currently before your office; to investigate the crimes which have taken place and are being orchestrated across the occupied Palestinian territory since 7 October; to issue a preventive statement and visit Palestine before the end of 2023… In light of Israeli official statements inciting genocide, we call on the Prosecutor to issue an official public statement to deter the commission of genocide and other international crimes against the Palestinian people.
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“We are sounding the alarm: There is an ongoing campaign by Israel resulting in crimes against humanity in Gaza. Considering statements made by Israeli political leaders and their allies, accompanied by military action in Gaza and escalation of arrests and killing in the West Bank, there is also a risk of genocide against the Palestine people,” the experts said.
“There are no justifications or exceptions for such crimes. We are appalled by the inaction of the international community in the face of belligerent war-mongering,” the experts said.
“The Gazan population, half of whom are children, have already suffered many decades of unlawful brutal occupation and lived under the blockade for 16 years,” the experts said.
“It is time to immediately cease fire and ensure urgent and unimpeded access to essential humanitarian supplies, including food, water, shelter, medicine, fuel and electricity. The physical safety of the civilian population must be guaranteed,” the experts said.
“The occupation needs to end and there must be reparation, restitution and reconstruction, towards full justice for Palestinians.”