Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Leading figures in the UK’s Green Parties have welcomed the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) provisional ruling on South Africa’s case against Israel. The court ruled against Israel’s motion to dismiss the case and put in place six measures for Israel to follow including preventing genocidal acts and ending the incitement to commit genocide.

South Africa’s case claims that Israel has violated the genocide convention.

Green Party of England and Wales co-leader Adrian Ramsay said the International Court of Justice interim ruling underscored the need for a renewed political initiative to secure an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages and a long-term peace.

He said: “The International Court of Justice is right to insist that Israel must ‘take all measures within its power’ to prevent all acts contravening the genocide convention, must ensure ‘with immediate effect’ that its forces do not commit any act of genocide, and immediately improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The court is also right to call for the immediate, unconditional release of all hostages.

“It is the highest court of the United Nations, its decisions are binding, and if we are to have a rules-based international order, its findings must be respected and acted upon.  Now is the time for new peace initiatives to create the conditions for a lasting peace across the region.

“Ultimately, it is for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples to agree the long-term solutions that will offer each security and peace, but the UK government can do much more now to encourage that process to begin.  The UK government must show it respects the international institutions that offer peaceful, legal and diplomatic avenues to end conflicts. It should begin by unequivocally backing an immediate ceasefire that ends fighting by all sides, frees the hostages, lets in humanitarian aid and creates space for dialogue.”

The Scottish Greens have made similar comments. The party said that the UK government can no longer ignore Israel’s genocidal assault in Gaza following today’s ICJ ruling.

The Scottish Greens have also called for the UK Government to immediately halt all arms sales to Israel and to sanction its political and military leaders, as was done to senior Russian figures after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ross Greer MSP, Scottish Greens External Affairs spokesperson, said: “This is a landmark ruling, and the UK Government has a moral responsibility to act on it. The Court has clearly identified a risk of genocide in Gaza, otherwise it would not have issued these interim orders to Israel. It is essential that the UK takes immediate steps to ensure that it is not a collaborator in the crime of genocide.

“More than 25,000 Palestinians have already been killed and 1.7 million displaced by the Israeli assault. Hospitals have been attacked and ‘safe zones’ routinely bombed. Unarmed civilians carrying white flags are shot in the street in front of news crews. And the food, water, fuel and medicine being allowed in is only a small fraction of what’s needed to stop the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. Children are having limbs amputated and women are undergoing c-sections without anaesthetic, an unimaginably horrific situation.

“Israel is committing war crimes openly and brazenly day after day with the full political and military backing of the UK, US and much of the international community.

“With the Court’s ruling, the UK can no longer ignore the reality of the situation. It’s our moral responsibility to do all we can to end the slaughter and the occupation, and seek a lasting peace. That means immediately halting arms sales to Israel and sanctioning its leaders. The same was rightly done to Russian leaders. Palestinian lives are worth no less than Ukrainian or British lives.”

The Green Party in Northern Ireland also called for an end to arms sales to Israel. Councillor Anthony Flynn said:  “An entire population in Gaza is now in an emergency phase of food insecurity, they are being denied access to basic essentials like food, water, electricity and a safe home to live in, they face a catastrophe as the bombs continue to drop, disease spreads and healthcare services collapse. An important part of this ICJ ruling demands Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. Western leaders including the UK and US governments must do more to bring about an immediate ceasefire, including stopping all arms sales to Israel in direct violation of UK domestic and international law.”

Flynn continued “I welcome this ruling by the ICJ and emergency measures including an order for Israel to prevent acts of Genocide against the Palestinian people. This is an important moment in the campaign to stop the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Gaza strip, the ICJ has made clear its intention to continue an investigation into Israel’s actions under the genocide convention and this ruling must be upheld by Israel and the international community. The Green Party is a party of peace, non-violence and social justice and we will continue to stand against the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.”

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Image credit: Number 10 Downing Street – Creative Commons