As the Israeli genocidal war against the Gaza Strip surpasses 100 days, third party states have failed to fulfill their obligations and could be complicit and/or involved in Israel’s genocide. Concerned states allege that there needs to be an end to the humanitarian crisis, however, they have done almost nothing to bring Israel into compliance with its obligation to provide unrestricted aid. At the same time, the United Nations’ Security Council, General Assembly, agencies and international organizations call for immediate measures to address the crisis, but they have not developed specific plans
Aside from enforcing a ceasefire, states’ obligation to prevent genocide also requires challenging and halting Israeli policies and practices that prevent and restrict humanitarian aid delivery and operations in the Gaza Strip.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in Article 8(2)(b)(xxv) states: “Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including wilfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions” is a war crime. While Article 7(1)(K) declares that “Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health” is a crime against humanity.
Therefore, Israel ignoring or rejecting its obligations to provide unrestricted aid,
In a recent statement by UN Special Procedures
Furthermore, the UN and its agencies are required
Regardless of Israeli claims, the aid that is entering the Gaza Strip is nowhere near enough and Israel still continues to prevent aid provision, distribution and operations. UNRWA Commissioner General, Philippe Lazzerini, stated: “There is very little information about the north of the Gaza Strip, as access to the area remains highly restricted. I was not authorized to visit; our convoys and aid trucks are often delayed for long hours at the checkpoint. Meanwhile, many desperate people now approach our trucks to get food directly off them, without waiting for distribution. By the time the Israeli authorities give our convoys the greenlight to cross, trucks are almost empty.”
In the first week of the war, in a clear example of “wilfully impeding relief supplies”, Israel bombed the Rafah border crossing, imposed a complete aid siege, and warned the Egyptian government not to supply aid to Gaza. Then, in its oral hearing before the ICJ, Israel
For states to ensure that they adhere to their obligations to prevent and not aid and abet genocide, the following practical measures are required, without any further delay:
- Other than pledging funds and aid, third states are required to take all measures to challenge and halt Israel’s genocidal acts of the restriction and obstruction of aid that are “intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health” through widespread starvation, famine, disease, and malnutrition.
- States must ensure that Israel immediately eliminates the unjustified security and logistical measures that delay delivery, end the prohibition and limitation of specific materials, such as fuel, and facilitate the operations of all UN and humanitarian agencies.
- In the event of Israel’s non-compliance, third states are obligated to enact diplomatic, economic and military sanctions against Israel to force its compliance.
- States must adhere to and enforce the plan of measures put forth by the UN and its agencies.
In order for the UN, its organs and agencies to adhere to their obligations to prevent and not be complicit in genocide, they are required to:
- Outline a plan of measures to ensure the immediate, efficient and adequate entry, distribution and access of aid, re-initiate and sustain operations in all parts of the Gaza Strip, and establish safe shelters.
- The plan must include the responsibilities of its member states to prevent genocide, and clarify the consequences for ignoring or rejecting international obligations, including the consequences for states’ involvement in genocide.