States and companies must end arms transfers to Israel immediately or risk responsibility for human rights violations UN experts by UN Working Group on business and human rights and others

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  1. In line with recent calls from the Human Rights Council and the independent UN experts to States to cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, arms manufacturers supplying Israel – including BAE Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Oshkosh, Rheinmetall AG, Rolls-Royce Power Systems, RTX, and ThyssenKrupp – should also end transfers, even if they are executed under existing export licenses.
  2. “These companies, by sending weapons, parts, components, and ammunition to Israeli forces, risk being complicit in serious violations of international human rights and international humanitarian laws,” the experts said. This risk is heightened by the recent decision from the International Court of Justice ordering Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah, having recognised genocide as a plausible risk, as well as the request filed by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders on allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. “In this context, continuing arms transfers to Israel may be seen as knowingly providing assistance for operations that contravene international human rights and international humanitarian laws and may result in profit from such assistance.”
  3. Financial institutions investing in these arms companies are also called to account. Investors such as Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung, Amundi Asset Management, Bank of America, BlackRock, Capital Group, Causeway Capital Management, Citigroup, Fidelity Management & Research, INVESCO Ltd, JP Morgan Chase, Harris Associates, Morgan Stanley, Norges Bank Investment Management, Newport Group, Raven’swing Asset Management, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, State Street Corporation, Union Investment Privatfonds, The Vanguard Group, Wellington and Wells Fargo & Company, are urged to take action. Failure to prevent or mitigate their business relationships with these arms manufacturers transferring arms to Israel could move from being directly linked to human rights abuses to contributing to them, with repercussions for complicity in potential atrocity crimes, the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/06/states-and-companies-must-end-arms-transfers-israel-immediately-or-risk

UN experts outraged by Israeli strikes on civilians sheltering in Rafah camps by Paula Gaviria Betancur and others

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  1. GENEVA (29 May 2024) – Israeli air strikes on a camp sheltering displaced civilians in Tal al-Sultan in Rafah, that have reportedly claimed at least 46 lives including 23 women, children and older persons on Sunday night are an outrage, UN experts* said today, demanding decisive international action to end the bloodshed in Gaza.

… They recalled that the attack comes soon after a landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ordered Israel to immediately halt the military offensive, and any other action in Rafah that may result in genocidal acts. Israel had flagrantly disregarded this directive in Sunday night’s attack, the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/05/un-experts-outraged-israeli-strikes-civilians-sheltering-rafah-camps

Israel’s Rafah invasion must stop now, say UN experts by Francesca Albanese, Tomoya Obokata

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“In light of the grievous humanitarian situation on the ground, no evacuation order issued by Israel can be considered compliant with international humanitarian law,” they said. International law stipulates that Israel must ensure displaced civilians are protected and have continuous access to food, safe water, and medical assistance. “This is even more critical when Israel has been warned that its acts may amount to genocide,” the experts said. “Further displacement of Gaza’s population through evacuation orders or military operations contravenes binding provisional measures imposed on Israel by the International Court of Justice.”

…“States with influence over Israel have described any incursion into Rafah as a ‘red line’,” the experts said. “They must immediately put those words into practice and stop this disastrous campaign by ending the flow of arms into Israel and withholding investment and political support.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/05/israels-rafah-invasion-must-stop-now-say-un-experts

Arms exports to Israel must stop immediately: UN experts on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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  • “The need for an arms embargo on Israel is heightened by the International Court of Justice’s ruling on 26 January 2024 that there is a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza and the continuing serious harm to civilians since then”, the experts said. The Genocide Convention of 1948 requires States parties to employ all means reasonably available to them to prevent genocide in another state as far as possible. “This necessitates halting arms exports in the present circumstances”, the experts said.
  • The experts welcomed the suspension of arms transfers to Israel by Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the Japanese company Itochu Corporation. The European Union also recently discouraged arms exports to Israel.
  • The experts urged other States to immediately halt arms transfers to Israel, including export licenses and military aid. The United States and Germany are by far the largest arms exporters and shipments have increased since 7 October 2023. Other military exporters include France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

…“State officials involved in arms exports may be individually criminally liable for aiding and abetting any war crimes, crimes against humanity or acts of genocide,” the experts said. “All States under the principle of universal jurisdiction, and the International Criminal Court, may be able to investigate and prosecute such crimes.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/02/arms-exports-israel-must-stop-immediately-un-experts

States must reinstate and strengthen support to UNRWA amid unfolding genocide in Gaza: UN experts on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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  • With the ICJ alerting the international community to the risk of genocide in Gaza and ordering immediate and effective action to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians, states must do more, including to avoid legal consequences for aiding and abetting, or possible complicity in acts of genocide,” they said. “Instead of castigating the agency that provides critical support for millions of Palestinians in Gaza, states must exhaust all efforts to avert serious violations of international law, including genocide—and this necessitates continued international support of UNRWA’s vital humanitarian services.”

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/02/states-must-reinstate-and-strengthen-support-unrwa-amid-unfolding-genocide

Gaza: ICJ ruling offers hope for protection of civilians enduring apocalyptic conditions, say UN experts by UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese and others

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  • GENEVA (31 January 2024) – The landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) offers the first concrete hope to protect civilians in Gaza enduring apocalyptic humanitarian conditions, destruction, mass killing, wounding and irreparable trauma, UN experts* said today… The court order is urgently needed to protect the very existence of the Palestinian people…

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/01/gaza-icj-ruling-offers-hope-protection-civilians-enduring-apocalyptic

UN human rights experts welcome start of ICJ genocide hearings in The Hague, reiterate call for ceasefire by UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Margaret Satterthwaite and others

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  • GENEVA (11 January 2024) – UN human rights experts* today welcomed the start of hearings before the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) of a case brought by South Africa concerning allegations that Israel is committing acts of genocide against the Palestinian people. The experts emphasized that any decision the Court reaches on provisional measures must be respected and implemented by the parties to the dispute, as required by the ICJ Statute.

… “South Africa’s case has broader implications for all States – not only those that have ratified the Convention – as all are obligated both to refrain from committing genocide, and to prevent and punish it wherever it occurs. All States must act together to prevent, halt, and punish genocide,” the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/01/un-human-rights-experts-welcome-start-icj-genocide-hearings-hague-reiterate

UN experts urge States to unite for peace and push for ceasefire in Gaza on United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

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They reiterated their previous statement warning against the commission of genocide and their recommendations:

  1. 1- Allow unimpeded delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza, including reproductive health supplies;
  2. 2- Ensure the immediate, unconditional, safe and secure release of the hostages taken by Hamas;
  3. 3- Ensure that all Palestinians arbitrarily detained by Israel are released immediately;
  4. 4- Ensure that all persons, including women and girls, are protected from gender-based violence, including sexual assault and abuse. Allegations of such crimes must be fully and independently investigated;
  5. 5- Ensure that pregnant women have access to adequate health care;
  6. 6- Open humanitarian corridors toward the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Israel, especially for those that have been most affected by this war, the sick and wounded, persons with disabilities, older persons, pregnant women and children;
  7. 7- Collaboration of all parties with the Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on the investigation opened in March 2021, as well as crimes arising from the recent events, underlining that the crimes committed today are partly due to a lack of deterrence and continued impunity;
  8. 8- Implement an arms embargo on all warring parties; and
  9. 9- Address the underlying causes of the conflict by ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory and fulfilling the Palestinian right of self-determination.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/12/un-experts-urge-states-unite-peace-and-push-ceasefire-gaza

Gaza: UN experts call on international community to prevent genocide against the Palestinian people by UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese and others

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“Many of us already raised the alarm about the risk of genocide in Gaza,” the experts said. “We are deeply disturbed by the failure of governments to heed our call and to achieve an immediate ceasefire. We are also profoundly concerned about the support of certain governments for Israel’s strategy of warfare against the besieged population of Gaza, and the failure of the international system to mobilise to prevent genocide,” they said.

…“The international community has an obligation to prevent atrocity crimes, including genocide, and should immediately consider all diplomatic, political and economic measures to that end,” the experts said. They urged immediate action by UN Member States and the UN system as a whole.

…“The international community, including not only States but also non-State actors such as businesses, must do everything it can to immediately end the risk of genocide against the Palestinian people, and ultimately end Israeli apartheid and occupation of the Palestinian territory,” the experts said.

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/11/gaza-un-experts-call-international-community-prevent-genocide-against