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

Understanding Genocide: The Case of Gaza on Palestinian Centre for Human Rights – PCHR

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“Through this liberal language of international humanitarian law, basically, Israel is searching for impunity. That’s how they immediately defended themselves from the beginning, at the ICJ… This mobilization of international humanitarian law at the service of genocide has also another function. It has- and it will have- the function of telling future generations- or trying to tell future generations- how to narrate the genocide. Israel is constantly trying, like all colonial powers, to write history while erasing the colonized. And so, that’s the function of this mobilization of international humanitarian law. To present and to shape the meaning of violence as legitimate violence, so that in the future- in the next decades- people will remember this genocide, not as a genocide but as something else. As a counter-insurgency campaign which had some excesses but, overall, abided by international humanitarian law.”

Continue watching at https://x.com/pchrgaza/status/1772545411254763757

Gaza: Halt the war now to save children from dying of imminent famine by UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

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  • Deliberate actions such as blocking and restricting humanitarian aid appear to be calculated to bring about the physical destruction of Palestinian children, and we refer in this regard to the interim ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 26 January 2024, which found some rights claims by South Africa under the Genocide Convention to be “plausible”. 
  • We draw attention to the ICJ’s order to Israel to “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of article II of the Convention”, including killing members of the group; to “prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide”; and to “enable the provision of… humanitarian assistance”. 

Continue reading at https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2024/03/gaza-halt-war-now-save-children-dying-imminent-famine-un-committee-warns

Al-Haq and Partners Send Four Written Submissions Prior to the 55th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council on Al-Haq

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  • Al-Haq, jointly with partners, submitted four written submissions ahead of the upcoming 55th regular session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (the Council), which will be held between 26 February and 5 April 2024. Addressing the Council under different agenda items, the four submissions underlined Israel’s ongoing genocide and the escalation of Israeli military attacks in the West Bank, especially on refugee camps; the importance of annually updating the UN database of businesses operating within Israel’s colonial settlement enterprise; the worrying escalation in arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and torture of Palestinians; and Israel’s targeting of Palestinian memory, identity and cultural heritage.
  • Overall, the written submissions urged the Council and its Member States to uphold their legal obligations to prevent, end, and refrain from aiding or assisting the ongoing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, and urgently urge Israel to immediately and unconditionally allow the unimpeded access of fuel, water, food and humanitarian aid, including medical supplies, into the Gaza Strip, as mandated by the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures order. Furthermore, the submissions called for international justice and accountability for Israel’s international crimes, including by recognising and taking effective measures to dismantle Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime imposed over the Palestinian people as a whole; supporting and enabling the exercise of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people and the return of Palestinian refugees to their ancestral land and homes; and reconstituting the UN Special Committee against Apartheid and the UN Centre against Apartheid.

Continue reading at https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/22717.html

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

Palestinian Organisations Demand Inquiry into UN Genocide Prevention Office’s Inexcusable Failure to Address Israel’s Ongoing Genocide in Gaza by Al-Haq

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  • Palestinian human rights organizations, including Al-Haq, have penned a letter addressed to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, expressing profound disappointment and calling for an inquiry over the failure of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Ms. Alice Wairimu Nderitu, to fulfil her mandate in addressing the ongoing atrocities perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians in Gaza. This failure includes neglecting to raise awareness about Israel’s ongoing, four-months-long genocide against Palestinians in Gaza or, at the very least, to the alarming risk of genocide; failing to acknowledge the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that Israel is plausibly committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, along with the provisional measures ordered for Israel; and refusing to engage meaningfully, meet, or respond to requests from Palestinian human rights organizations.

Continue reading at https://www.alhaq.org/advocacy/22613.html

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

States defunding UNRWA may be violating genocide convention: expert on The New Arab

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  • A UN expert warned Sunday that countries defunding the UN agency for Palestinian refugees were breaching a court order to provide effective aid in Gaza and could be violating the international genocide convention.
  • A number of donor countries – including Australia, Britain, Finland, Germany and Italy – on Saturday followed the lead of the United States in suspending additional funding to UNRWA.
  • That came after Israel alleged that several of the UN agency’s staff members were involved in Hamas’s 7 October attack. The Israeli allegations were based on confessions obtained in interrogations and have not been independently investigated. Israel has killed more than 150 UNRWA staff in Gaza since the start of its latest offensive on Gaza.
  • Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories, warned that the decision to pause funding to UNRWA “overtly defies” the order by the International Court of Justice to allow effective humanitarian assistance” to reach Gazans.
  • “This will entail legal responsibilities – or the demise of the (international) legal system,” she wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Watch at https://www.newarab.com/news/gaza-defunding-unrwa-may-be-violating-genocide-convention

‘It’s not just Israel on trial’: Bosnian war survivor’s support for genocide case on The Guardian

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  • Reminded of the atrocities of the war and the Srebrenica genocide, she fears the landmark case brought against Serbia for genocide in The Hague decades ago – which found that genocide did take place in Srebrenica but cleared Serbia of direct intent to commit genocide – will become the precedent for other genocide cases.
  • … After watching proceedings in The Hague last week, Buljušmić-Kustura has gathered more than 1,000 signatures from Bosnian genocide and war survivors across Bosnia, the US and the UK in an open letter to the international court of justice (ICJ). It calls on the UN court to prevent the repetition of history by implementing the “provisional measures” put forward by South Africa requiring actions, such as a ceasefire, to mitigate the risk of genocide.

Continue reading at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/18/its-not-just-israel-on-trial-bosnian-war-survivors-support-for-genocide-case