UK urged to suspend arms sales to 'Israel', support ICJ decisions
30 UK organizations say the United Kingdom, as a signatory to the Genocide Convention, is bound to ensure it is not complicit in violations of the Convention.
Around 30 UK organizations, including legal and atrocity prevention groups, have been calling on Foreign Secretary David Cameron to have the government abide by and support the orders of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and suspend the supply of arms to "Israel".
In a letter sent last week, the groups argue that the UK, as a signatory to the Genocide Convention, "is bound to ensure it helps prevent and ensure it is not complicit in violations of the convention. The provisional measures issued by the ICJ therefore have immediate and urgent implications for UK policy."
"Israel" has until February 23 to hand over a report to the ICJ regarding its compliance with the six orders issued. It is required to "take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide" against Palestinians in Gaza, after proof was found of "discernibly genocidal and dehumanizing rhetoric coming from senior Israeli government officials."
The letter has also been sent to the shadow Foreign Secretary, David Lammy, and the UK special envoy for humanitarian aid in Gaza, Mark Bryson-Richardson.
Cameron has previously stated that the ICJ should not subject "Israel" to accountability in the case raised by South Africa.
The letter also added, "In light of the court’s findings, there is now a clear risk, as set out under the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria (SELC), that British arms and military equipment transferred to Israel might be used to facilitate or commit violations of the Genocide Convention as well as violations of international humanitarian law."
'A broken United Nations'
The letter also takes a jab at "Israel" and calls on it to immediately "reverse its decision to deprive water and electricity to Palestinians in Gaza, both of which constitute urgently needed basic services", noting that Britain's reputation depends on its response to the ICJ ruling.
"The application of justice and accountability for international crimes can never be selective. Inconsistency is the enabler of impunity everywhere. The UK must be steadfast in its support of the ICJ as a competent and appropriate court to hear and investigate state disputes regarding the Genocide Convention, and ensure that the court’s decisions are respected and abided by."
The organizations believe that not abiding by this policy "risks unraveling the very foundations of the international rules-based system of international justice, and the UK’s role in the world – playing into the hands of actors who have everything to gain from a broken United Nations."
This comes two days after UN special rapporteur on the occupied territories, Francesca Albanese, declared that "Israel" is violating orders issued by the ICJ to immediately protect Palestinians’ rights and cease all activities amounting to genocide.
According to some lawyers, how much "Israel" complies is a test not only for the ICJ but for other signatories of the Genocide Convention.
South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor highlighted earlier this month how Israeli occupation forces directly killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians just days after, and despite, the ICJ ruling.