BNC Statement

Palestinian civil society’s response to states that claim they cannot support South Africa’s ICJ submission to protect their role as “mediators”

Palestinian civil society reminds states hesitant to support South Africa's ICJ submission under the pretext of being 'mediators': you are failing your legal obligation. Fair mediation must adhere to the rule of law and international principles and act to end to #GazaGenocide.

7 January 2024

Palestinians have called on all states to support the South African case before the ICJ accusing Israel of genocide against the 2.3 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Coordinating Committee (PAACC), comprising the Anti-Apartheid Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the BDS Movement, the Palestinian Human Rights Organization Council (PHROC) and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), has reminded all States Parties of the Genocide Convention of their legal obligation not just to “take measures to prevent” but also “to punish the crime of genocide, including by enacting relevant legislation and punishing perpetrators.”

Any state that fails to support this ICJ suit with the excuse of “defending its status as a mediator” between Israel and Palestinian parties is failing to uphold its legal obligations under the Genocide Convention to prevent genocide.

Also, mediating between the perpetrators of genocide and those being subjected to it can only be relevant once the genocide is stopped. Any serious mediation efforts must uphold the rule of law and premise their actions on international law. For a fair mediation to take place, Israel's genocidal massacres and starvation of the Palestinians in Gaza must first be brought to an immediate end.

The only legal and moral position for any state to take is to support the South African demand for the ICJ to issue Provisional Measures to stop the aggression, allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, and stop and reverse the systematic forced displacement. Nothing else matters as much.

Stopping the US-Israeli genocide is not just an absolute necessity to save hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lives. It is also an absolute necessity to save international law and save humanity from the "might makes right" era towards which Israel, backed by the colonial West, is taking the world, undermining peace and security for nations across the globe.


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