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A Public Relations Ploy does not Absolve the USA and other States from Fulfilling their Obligations to Prevent Genocide
A Public Relations Ploy does not Absolve the USA and other States from Fulfilling their Obligations to Prevent Genocide

photo copyright:gettyimages                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6/3/2024


The USA’s recent airdrop of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip is a public relations ploy taking into consideration that elections are around the corner and President Biden wants to appease both the voters who are in solidarity with Palestine and the American Arab population. Regardless of the token aid that was airdropped into the Gaza Strip, according to a recent report, “Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military financing, with most of that aid coming in the form of weapons grants.”

The provision of a measly 38,000 ready-made meals with no consideration for its distribution and the safety of those receiving it, does not even begin to address the imminent famine in Gaza. Not only was the amount of aid woefully inadequate but also deeply condescending, and hypocritical when the US unconditionally funds and supplies the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime’s forces and genocide.

Per the ICJ’s provisional measures, Israel shall take immediate and effective steps to enable the passage of humanitarian aid, while third States are under the obligation to prevent genocide by forcing Israel to provide unrestricted and unconditional aid.  

UN experts have recently stated that “After months of Israel’s starvation campaign, Gaza may already be facing famine. Recent airdrops will achieve little. The only way to prevent or end this famine is an immediate and permanent ceasefire.” These experts also reiterated that “Humanitarian aid must not be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations,” and that Israel has the minimum obligation to provide unconditional humanitarian aid.

In other words, the USA, EU and other States have the obligation to compel Israel to open up the Rafah crossing and other checkpoints, for the 2000 trucks that have been waiting at the border to enter Gaza.

Since Israel is not fulfilling its obligations, then States need not wait for Israel’s permission, a ceasefire or the release of Israeli prisoners and soldiers to provide all the aid needed in the Gaza Strip and fulfil their own obligation to prevent genocide. 

In addition, the US and other colonial states must protect the organizations responsible for delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, especially UNRWA, rather than cutting its funding over another wave of the Israeli campaign of delegitimization to eliminate the Agency. Further, the reality is that not only are the airdrop missions less effective than using land-based delivery, they also exclude the UN and international agencies. Therefore, airdrops support and contribute to the intensified Israeli strategy to replace UNRWA, and make Palestinians in the Gaza Strip beholden to Israeli-controlled aid provision.  

The unwillingness of Israel and the failure of third party states to fulfill their obligations to prevent genocide, strongly indicate that the ICJ should reconsider further strengthening and augmenting its provisional measures in light of the current situation in Gaza Strip and in line with Article 76(1) of the Rules of the Court.

While Israel is the primary entity responsible for ensuring Palestinian protection, safety and security; all States, in accordance with their obligation to prevent genocide, must take the following measures:

  • Impose an immediate and unconditional ceasefire;
  • Ensure the provision of unrestricted humanitarian aid, through unimpeded delivery of land, air and sea convoys;
  • Cease any military, economic and political aid to Israel and implement sanctions;
  • Resume and increase funding to UNRWA, and ensure its full and safe operation, as the most credible, present and legitimate UN mandated agency in this regard;
  • Lift the 17-year blockade.