New York, NY IMG HI 58° LO 56°
Home If Western associates back Israel, complicity is threatened
World News

If Western associates back Israel, complicity is threatened


An attack on a relief vehicle killed several foreign aid workers. The collapse of a hospital where many people were killed. An attack by plane on a port in another country.


Israel's recent activities in Gaza and the surrounding area have contributed to the allegations of war crimes and even genocide made against it.


However, despite the potential legal consequences for their involvement in war crimes, several Western allies of Israel persist in supplying weapons to Israel and refusing to provide financial support to the primary United Nations agency operating in Gaza, despite the imminent risk of famine among its population of approximately two million individuals.


The allegations of genocide, as well as the ongoing legal proceedings initiated by South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), have had no impact on changing this situation.


In the previous month, Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian Territory, issued a report warning Israel's Western allies. The report stated that there were evident signs of Israel's violation of the UN Genocide Convention. It also emphasized that being involved in genocide is explicitly prohibited, which creates obligations for third states.


Nicaragua has filed a lawsuit against Germany at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for breaching international law by its ongoing supply of weapons to Israel. Various organizations worldwide are also initiating legal actions against their governments.


However, Germany persists in supplying weapons to Israel. Despite the escalating death toll in Gaza, major weapons suppliers, including the US, the UK, and Australia, have refrained from completely halting their arms deliveries.


According to Michael Becker, a professor of international human rights law at Trinity College in Dublin, the failure of countries like Germany, the UK, and the US to evaluate their support for Israel raises concerns about whether these countries are breaching their duty to prevent genocide. It is even possible that they could be seen as accomplices in acts of genocide or other violations of international law.


Future responsibility


These nations are finding it increasingly difficult to claim ignorance. A leaked video on Saturday revealed that Alicia Kearns, a Conservative member and head of the UK parliament's foreign affairs committee, said that UK government lawyers had provided advice indicating that Israel has violated international humanitarian law. However, the British government has not officially announced this matter.


Kearns maintained his position when questioned about the statements afterwards.


Charles Falconer, the former UK Lord Chancellor, asserts that if the British government acknowledges that Israel has breached international law, it will be compelled to cease intelligence cooperation with Israel.


A representative from the UK foreign ministry confirmed that the evaluation of Israel's compliance with international humanitarian law is ongoing. They emphasized that government officials make decisions based on this evaluation, particularly when assessing export licenses.


The administration said that the provision of precise legal advice was considered secret.


Nonetheless, a prominent British lawyer cautioned that the United Kingdom and other nations would be apprehensive about potential legal liability in the future.


"Every government has legal teams that consistently guide the countries to which they are exporting weapons," said Geoffrey Nice, the prosecutor in charge of the Slobodan Milosevic case, in an interview with Al Jazeera. "It is implausible that the guidance the British government has obtained regarding events in Gaza is substantially dissimilar from that received by other nations."


"The occurrence of the atrocity on October 7th and the subsequent hostage situation was and continues to be extremely horrifying," Nice said. "Nevertheless, Israel must demonstrate that it is acting in a manner that is commensurate with the situation, thereby minimizing civilian casualties."


"In the event of a criminal investigation into the conduct of this war, it is likely that many of the major countries currently supporting Israel will make every effort to prevent Israeli witnesses from testifying and stating that they were acting with the consent of these countries, who provided them with weapons."

Promoting starvation


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a directive last week, mandating Israel to augment the provision of humanitarian assistance to Gaza promptly. However, despite the increasing threat of starvation in the Palestinian enclave, Israel persistently obstructs the efforts of NGOs striving to provide food assistance.


Following the incident on Tuesday, which resulted in the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) staff members, both WCK and the refugee assistance organization Anera have declared the temporary cessation of their operations in Gaza. This decision has been made to evaluate the security situation and ensure the protection of their personnel.


Israel persists in obstructing the United Nations organization for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, from entering northern Gaza, where hunger is reaching its most severe levels. Israel has alleged that workers of UNRWA were involved in Hamas's assault on October 7, resulting in some nations halting their financial support to UNRWA.


Nevertheless, Israel has not shown any substantiating proof for this assertion, while several contributors, such as the European Union, Canada, and Australia, have continued their financial assistance.


"I believe that discontinuing financial support for UNRWA could potentially be considered a war crime," said Francis Boyle, a professor at the University of Illinois who has acted as legal advisor to the Palestinian Authority, in an interview with Al Jazeera.

Furthermore, he said that not only are there violations of humanitarian law, but the US and other parties are also in violation of many provisions of the genocide convention, for which they may and should be held responsible.

0 Comments found

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *