Australia must end its hollow rhetoric and act to enforce latest ICJ ruling against Israel

May 25, 2024

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network has reiterated its demand that the Australian Government takes decisive action to enforce the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) order for Israel to cease its offensive in Rafah and end its genocide in Gaza.

In its decision overnight, the ICJ highlighted that the previous provisional measures were inadequate in addressing the worsening conditions faced by Palestinians in Gaza.

It ordered Israel to abide by its obligations under the Genocide Convention and “immediately halt its military offensive and any other action in the Rafah governorate which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that would bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

It also ordered the opening of border crossings to facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid, and stressed the need for UN observers to gain immediate access to the region to prevent any potential evidence of war crimes from being tampered with or disappearing.

These orders, while carrying significant weight in international law, are not enforceable by the ICJ itself, and rather require enforcement by the international community, including the Australian Government.

To this end, the Australian Government’s hollow rhetoric and passive disapproval about Israel’s violations of humanitarian law must give way to concrete action to end the rogue state’s impunity and its genocidal atrocities in Gaza.

The Australian Government must immediately impose sanctions on Israel, cease all exports of weapons components where Israel is the end user, expel the Israeli ambassador, and recall its own ambassador to Israel.

It must also join the French, German, and Norwegian governments in confirming it would detain Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he were to set foot on Australia soil, should the International Criminal Court issue an arrest warrant for him over his role in the genocide in Gaza.

These actions are necessary steps towards holding Israel accountable for its egregious violations of international law and ensuring the protection of Palestinians in Gaza.

Israel has killed more than 35,800 Palestinians and injured more than 80,011 in its attacks on Gaza during the past eight months, and has actively blocked, targeted and attacked aid convoys attempting to deliver life-saving humanitarian supplies to the territory, manufacturing mass starvation, verging on famine, across the territory.

Quotes attributed to APAN President Nasser Mashni:

Even as the ICJ handed down its decision last night, Israel persisted in its bombing of Palestinians in Rafah. This flagrant disregard for international humanitarian law and human life further cements Israel’s status as a rogue state, operating with blatant impunity.

The ICJ cannot enforce these rulings – that is the work of the international community, including the Australian Government.

The Australian Government must stop hiding behind diplomatic niceties and preaching about human rights, and instead take meaningful action to apply pressure to this rogue state to compel it to end its atrocities, including via sanctions, an end to weapons export permits and cutting diplomatic ties with Israel.

Israel’s brazen disregard for not only the January ICJ order but also its explicit vow to flout last night’s directive and persist with its assault on Rafah should leave no doubt in the minds of members of the Australian Government – decisive action is not just an option, it’s an imperative.

Australia must no longer stand idly by while Israel commits genocide in Gaza.