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Arms embargo on Israel essential to give credence to ICJ ruling on genocide 

By Iqbal Jassat 

Dubbed a mighty legal battle waged by South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel for its genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza, some apologists for the Zionist entity have raised the mantra that the case was a futile exercise. 

To their dismay, however, the top UN court upheld South Africa's request and ordered the Israeli regime to take all steps to prevent genocidal acts in the besieged Palestinian territory. 

Between then and now, all evidence points to the fact that not only has Israel disregarded the ICJ ruling but has blatantly acted against it by intensifying its murderous campaign against Palestinians in Gaza. 

It is due to this flagrant violation of the ICJ ruling that a Geneva-based human rights organization, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, issued a statement calling on member States of the Hague-based ICJ to cut off all forms of political, military and economic relations with Israel.

In an important exercise over the course of the four weeks since the ICJ decision, and as part of monitoring South Africa’s lawsuit against Israel for violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention, Euro-Med Monitor has documented several Israeli violations since October 7, 2023.

"Six fundamental indicators were used by Euro-Med Monitor to track Israel's level of compliance with the ICJ ruling: mass killing; causing serious physical or mental harm; imposing living conditions meant to purposefully cause material destruction and starvation; obstructing the delivery of humanitarian supplies; imposing an environment meant to prevent childbirth; and public incitement to continue committing genocide".

The result of Euro-Med Monitor's research demonstrates that from the evidence it examined, Benjamin Netanyahu's army "is still carrying out genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip".

The persistent violation of international law and the Geneva Convention in utter contempt of the highest court of justice has led 50-plus countries to make oral submissions to the top UN court based in The Hague on the illegality of Occupation, Settlements and Apartheid.

Though these are distinct from South Africa's genocide case, they point to widespread global outrage against Israel's arrogant behavior. And unprecedented indeed for so many countries to emerge - one after the other - and fearlessly make formidable legal arguments as to why the ICJ should hold Israel accountable.

However, the first important test these countries have to pass is one of integrity. The second crucial test rests on whether they are committed to acting on their strong concerns.

According to Euro-Med Monitor, during the period since the ICJ ruled a halt on genocide, Netanyahu’s army has "killed over 3,847 Palestinians, including 1,306 children and 807 women, and injured approximately 5,119 people, bringing the total number of Palestinian deaths since October 7 to 38,067, including 14,350 children, 8,620 women, and 8,000 people who are still buried beneath the debris of demolished buildings or on the streets.

And the bloody juggernaut rolls on in utter disdain for the prohibitions imposed by the ICJ.

It’s a pattern all too familiar with Palestinians who correctly argue that while denunciation is necessary, the Zionist entity will remain defiant unless accountability is enforced via concrete steps.

The necessary actionable steps as recommended by Euro-Med Monitor with which the Media Review Network concurs, include cutting off all political, economic, and, most importantly, military ties.

Unless such measures are undertaken, the apartheid colonial entity will regard it as a license to continue its genocide against the Palestinian people.

It’s important to note here that on the same score, 30 UN experts have demanded an immediate halt of arms exports to the Israeli regime.

They asserted that "any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law and must cease immediately." 

“Such transfers are prohibited even if the exporting State does not intend the arms to be used in violation of the law – or does not know with certainty that they would be used in such a way – as long as there is a clear risk,” they added.

Referring to the ICJ decision the UN experts rightly conclude that 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. 

Far from "normalizing" with genocidal Israel, as some Arab despots are inclined to do, solidarity with Palestine's freedom struggle requires a comprehensive boycott and effective arms embargo of the apartheid regime. 

Iqbal Jassat is an executive member of Media Review Network, Johannesburg, South Africa.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV

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