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ITF welcomes ICJ Ruling, calls for global cooperation and action to end bloodshed

news 31 Jan 2024

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) welcomes the Order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case filed by South Africa against Israel regarding the application of the Genocide Convention in the Gaza Strip. The ICJ has issued binding provisional measures aimed at addressing the plausible evidence of genocide in Gaza, acknowledging the urgent need for protection and intervention to prevent irreparable harm to the Gazan population.

In a statement, ITF President Paddy Crumlin emphasised the gravity of the situation, stating: "The ICJ's ruling underscores the compelling evidence presented by South Africa pointing towards the possible commission of genocide in Gaza. The provisional measures are a crucial step towards safeguarding the lives of the Gazan people, and we urge Israel to comply with these legally-binding orders." 

ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton echoed the sentiment, saying: "It is imperative that Israel takes immediate action in line with the Court’s Order to prevent and ensure that its military does not commit acts of genocide, punish incitement to genocide, and facilitate the provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. The international community must stand united in ensuring the enforcement of these measures."

The ICJ's order includes a call for a time-bound report on Israel's compliance, providing South Africa with the opportunity to review and respond to its contents. The ITF acknowledges the Court's ongoing discretion to consider additional provisional measures as needed.

The ITF calls on all States Parties to the Genocide Convention to fulfil their common obligation to prevent genocide, emphasising the need to review the funding and arming of Israel's military activities, as the provisional measures are adopted based on the plausible finding of genocidal conduct.

Cotton highlighted the significance of international cooperation, stating: "This Order reaffirms the importance of the international rule of law and effective enforcement. The UN Security Council and all UN Member States should work collaboratively to ensure the implementation of these provisional measures."

Additionally, the ITF urges the International Criminal Court prosecutor to expedite the investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both Israel and Palestinian armed groups.

The ITF reiterates its longstanding call for an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of civilian hostages on both sides, the establishment of effective humanitarian aid corridors, and the swift delivery of life-saving aid to address the critical needs of millions of people in Gaza.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF President

While backing the UN’s internal investigation into the organisation, the ITF urged countries who have suspended funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to urgently reassess given the grave humanitarian situation on the ground.

“It is our hope that an urgent ceasefire in Gaza will lead to a de-escalation of hostilities across the region, including in the Red Sea where seafarers have been the innocent victims of the ongoing conflict. We call on our world leaders to end the bloodshed – peace must prevail,” concluded Crumlin.

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