FeaturedTareq Yousef AlShumaimryWorld

ICJ not able to stop Gaza Genocide

Nicaragua case against Germany may have consequences to Israel supporters

By Tareq Yousef AlShumaimry

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has indeed taken significant steps to address the risk of genocide in Gaza. However, its effectiveness in enforcing its decisions remains a subject of ongoing debate. Here are some key points:
ICJ ruling on genocide prevention: The ICJ ordered “immediate and effective measures” to protect Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip from the risk of genocide.

Israel’s compliance: Despite the ICJ’s ruling, Israel has failed to take even the bare minimum steps to comply.

Challenges to enforcement:
While the ICJ has issued orders to prevent genocide, the lack of effective enforcement mechanisms remains a challenge.

Urgent international cooperation is necessary to protect civilians and alleviate the suffering in Gaza.

The ICJ’s powers are limited by the unwillingness of the losing party to abide by its rulings.

Last week the International Court of Justice saw the conclusion of the public hearings held from 19 to 26 February, 2024 on the request for an advisory opinion in respect of the legal consequences arising from the policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,

During the hearings, the State of Palestine, 49 Member States of the United Nations and three international organizations presented oral statements (in the following order): Palestine, South Africa, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Russian Federation, France, The Gambia, Guyana, Hungary, China, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Namibia, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Indonesia, Qatar, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Türkiye, Zambia, League of Arab States, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, African Union, Spain, Fiji and the Maldives.

The Kuwaiti delegation comprising Ali Al-Thefeeri, Kuwait’s ambassador to The Hague, permanent representative to the UN Tariq Al Bannai and Assistant Foreign minister for Legal Affairs, Tahani Al-Nasser made a fervent plea to end the occupation.

Ambassador Ali Al Thefeeri told the court that the current advisory proceedings were of extreme importance to the Palestinian people, Kuwait, the international legal order and the international community as a whole.

Ambassador Tariq Al Bannai pointed at the discriminatory practices that the Palestinians were subjected to, while Tahani Al-Nasser told the court that Kuwait was harnessing its strength and international diplomatic relations in support of the Palestinian cause and against the massacres currently taking place in Gaza.

Furthermore, on 1 March, Nicaragua filed an application instituting proceedings against Germany before the International Court of Justice for alleged violations by Germany (Germany is a key ally of Tel Aviv, and is one of its biggest arms providers alongside the United States, according to UN experts) of its obligations deriving from the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the ‘Genocide Convention’), the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols, “intransgressible principles of international humanitarian law” and other norms of general international law in relation to the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the Gaza Strip.

As Germany decided that it would officially intervene with Israel in the lawsuit and USA is only in solidarity with Israel, but will not officially intervene in the lawsuit, Nicaragua filed the application instituting proceedings against Germany.

The applicant states that each and every Contracting Party to the Genocide Convention has a duty under the Convention “to do everything possible to prevent the commission of genocide” and that, since October 2023, there has been “a recognised risk of genocide against the Palestinian people, directed first of all against the population of the Gaza Strip”.

Nicaragua argues that by providing political, financial and military support to Israel and by defunding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), “Germany is facilitating the commission of genocide and, in any case has failed in its obligation to do everything possible to prevent the commission of genocide.
This is also a clear message to countries sending weapons to Israel that they are liable to be complicit to the crime of genocide.

Under the genocide agreement, countries agree not to commit genocide, meaning complicity in the act is a violation. The pact also enables member states to actively prevent and punish possible genocide.
As pressure mounts on Israel to stop the genocide and killings the ICJ seems helpless in its ability to enforce rulings due to the fractured mandate at the UN Security Council.
The world is watching helplessly as Israel is acting with full impunity in annihilating the Palestinian people and grabbing their land.

Tareq Yousef AlShumaimry, served as Chairman of the Finance Committee and Chairman of the General Budget Committee of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague (PCA) and an observer in the 124th Administrative Council of the Court and the Consular at the Embassy of the State of Kuwait in the Netherlands during this period from 2013 to 2020.
Email: tareq@alshumaimry.com

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