Lawyers and activists discuss the ramifications of the ICJ's decisions

Lawyers and activists discuss the ramifications of the ICJ's decisions 001
(Photos: Dana Al-Zyadat, Jordan News)
AMMAN – A coordination body of civil society institutions, Himam, in cooperation with the Palestinian Right Foundation, held a discussion session on Thursday titled "The Decisions of the International Justice: Implications and Prospects." The session shed light on the ramifications of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) decisions to issue an advisory opinion on the practices of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.اضافة اعلان

This included the report expected to be submitted by the state of Israel, the legal and humanitarian positions towards them, and the implications and prospects that may emerge. Himam's General Coordinator, Hadeel Abdel-Aziz, emphasized that human dignity and rights are inseparable and must be preserved in all areas and corners of the world. She called for a departure from double and selective standards in implementing human rights to align with the interests of the global political system. Abdel-Aziz also highlighted that achieving justice locally is worth fighting for.

 International law expert Anis Al-Qassem discussed the effectiveness of international law and the global rights system in achieving justice. He pointed out that the problem lies not in the texts of the law and international principles but in the selectivity in applying these standards.

Qassem distinguished between South Africa's lawsuit against Israel for committing genocide against Palestinians and the interim measures it entailed and the ICJ's session to issue an advisory opinion regarding the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation. He highlighted that interim measures do not close the case but are decisions intended to prevent irreparable damages. Yet, Israel has not complied with any of these interim measures except for submitting a report on the measures it took to prevent genocide.

Qassem noted that "the report was submitted to the ICJ in complete secrecy, contrary to the Court's tradition of holding all its sessions and decisions openly. He also touched on the text of the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide and its punishment, clarifying that the Convention punishes not only the aggressor state but also all states that incite genocide".

He stressed, "Humanitarian responsibility lies not only on the aggressor state and those inciting genocide but on the entire international community."

 Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francisca Albani, who participated online, stated that the crimes committed against the Palestinian people in Gaza already amounted to genocide.

 She highlighted that "throughout history, genocide has been the prevailing practice during colonial settlement of indigenous peoples. She explained that colonial settlement is characterized by practices aimed at "suppressing indigenous populations, racial segregation, displacement, ethnic cleansing, and genocide." She commented that the international community's reluctance, especially the West, stems from a deep-rooted cultural problem that believes the only genocide in history was against Jews (the Holocaust). Albani also criticized Israel for not complying with the interim measures issued by the ICJ".

Albani condemned the reward for Israel's non-compliance by the Western community in the decision to stop funding UNRWA, considering its complicity with the aggressor state, Israel, particularly after the issuance of interim measures that included allowing aid to reach the Gaza Strip.

Director of the Palestinian Rights Foundation, Shawan Jabarin, stated that "Israel's encouragement to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity, leading to genocide, stems from its evading responsibility since 1948. He emphasized that the international system is going through a severe crisis, and its consequences do not concern Palestine alone but the entire "international system."

Jabarin said," The history of the current international system, which dates back to the end of World War II, forces "everyone around the world to pay the price for ignoring international law over the past consecutive years."

Jabarin outlined the role of the Palestinian Rights Foundation in using local and international laws to try to prevent genocide and hold those responsible for harming the Palestinian people accountable.

He also noted, "The Palestinian Rights Foundation works closely with South Africa in its case against Israel before the ICJ, affirming that working in the field of human rights in times of oppression and lawlessness requires effort and thorough research."

Jaberin concluded the session by calling for ways to use local law, unions, and institutions to issue decisions and regulations that encourage and allow national courts to pursue those accused of genocide.

Jabarin praised the statements of international institutions presented to the ICJ, such as the UN Secretary-General, the WHO, Doctors Without Borders, and others.

The discussion session focused on three main axes, including interim measures and the extent of Israel's compliance, the responsibility and legal consequences for states to ensure they do not participate in genocide and the role of human rights activists and civil society in contributing to stopping genocide.

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