The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a momentous judgement this afternoon, recognising grounds for South Africa’s genocide case against Israel. The interim ruling said that Israel must “take all measures within its power” to prevent the further killing and harm of Palestinians under provisions outlined in Article II of the Genocide Convention 1948. Israeli politicians dismissed the judgement, suggesting that it would continue with a war which has already claimed over 26,000 Palestinian lives – most of them women and children.
After today’s ruling, it is not just Israel on trial but the entire international community. We stand at a crossroads where we must choose between a world where states are held accountable for their actions and a world where potential genocides can go on unchecked. Our government must heed today’s call for provisional measures to stop the slaughter and do everything in our power to ensure the UK is not complicit. That can begin with diplomatic efforts for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire that prioritises civilian life and centres on the safe return of all hostages. There is also no justification for UK arms exports to continue to Israel whilst the ICJ case is ongoing.