In a historic announcement on Friday, January 26, 2024, President Jean Donoghue of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) unveiled pivotal provisional measures to be implemented by Israel. This call to action has resonated with Human Rights Groups, NGOs, and various community organizations, including the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), which has consistently made statements that was echoed in the ruling.
The ICJ panel, reflecting a majority consensus on critical issues, voted on provisional measures designed to prevent acts of genocide and related prohibited actions against the Palestinian group in the Gaza strip.
Dr. Rateb Jneid, President of AFIC, emphasised, “The Australian government is now called upon to respond to this moral victory for justice and take a stand against the atrocities being committed.”
The ICJ panel stressed the urgency of the situation, acknowledging the ongoing Israeli military operation’s toll in terms of tens of thousands of deaths, injuries, and widespread destruction. The court recognized the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, with Palestinians enduring severe shortages of basic necessities like food, water, electricity, and essential medical care.
While not explicitly calling for an immediate ceasefire, the ICJ’s actions are tethered to the legal process, urging the global community to act swiftly to enforce a ceasefire and protect lives.
The provisional measures issued by the ICJ demand immediate action from Israel to prevent further harm and preserve evidence related to allegations of genocide.
Key provisions of the ICJ ruling include:
- Prevention of Genocidal Acts – Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinian group in Gaza, including killing members, causing serious harm, and deliberately inflicting conditions leading to physical destruction.
- Military Restraint – Israel must ensure that its military refrains from committing any acts described in the ruling.
- Prevention of Incitement – Israel is obligated to prevent and punish direct and public incitement to commit genocide against the Palestinian group in Gaza.
- Humanitarian Assistance – Israel must take immediate and effective measures to provide urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address adverse conditions faced by Palestinians in the Gaza strip.
- Preservation of Evidence – Israel must take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of genocide.
The ICJ’s orders carry binding effect, creating international legal obligations on Israel. AFIC and countless other Australian organizations demand the Australian government play a proactive role in enforcing these measures, resisting potential influences that may undermine the ICJ’s authority.
“Australia must consider any measure that prevents the commissioning of genocide, advocate for the prosecution for breaches of international law, stop and prevent any Australian citizen from taking part in any genocidal acts, including potential crimes that may arise from participation in the IDF, and impose sanctions against Israel if it does not immediately comply.” said Dr Rateb Jneid.
In this vein, AFIC recently called on the government to ban all Australians from fighting for non-Australian forces. As a nation committed to justice, Australia must stand on the right side of history by supporting the ICJ’s decision.
AFIC maintains that all life is sacred, advocating for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages held without charge, and the dispatch of independent monitors to document facts on the ground.
Established in 1964, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) serves as the Peak Muslim Organization in Australia. With State Councils in every state and over 150 members, AFIC has a rich history of pioneering numerous community services and remains an active peak organization advocating for the rights and representation of the Muslim community.
Dr Rateb Jneid, President