La Via Campesina’s Statement on the Historic ICJ Ruling Regarding Genocide in Gaza

(Bagnolet: January 26, 2023) Today marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of justice and accountability, as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a historic ruling in response to a petition from the Government of South Africa. The ruling investigates allegations of genocide committed by the Israeli occupation against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip during the ongoing war, which has tragically resulted in over 26,000 Palestinian casualties, including more than 64,000 injuries and thousands missing, predominantly women and children.

La Via Campesina welcomes this pivotal decision by the ICJ, considering it a historic victory for the rights of the Palestinian people and a crucial first step towards holding the Israeli occupation accountable for its persistent crimes and evasion of punishment. The ICJ’s binding orders include instructing Israeli occupation to ensure access to humanitarian aid for the Palestinian population, prevent acts that fall within the scope of genocide, prevent, and punish direct and public incitement to commit genocide, take effective measures to prevent destruction of evidence related to allegations of genocide, and report back on the measures taken to implement the court’s orders within one month.

While, we in La Via Campesina had hoped for the court to issue an immediate ceasefire decision as a minimum measure to save the lives of thousands of Palestinians who continue to fall victim to this war, like what was seen in the Russian-Ukrainian war, we recognize the significance of this precedent-setting decision. This ruling, which subjects the Israeli occupation to legal accountability for the first time, is a vital step in isolating the Occupying state as a state accused of committing genocide. It necessitates that supporting states, especially those supplying Israeli occupation with arms, cease their support, as it contravenes the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

We still believe that this ICJ decision is an initial step in holding the occupation accountable for its heinous crimes and unprecedented use of starvation as a weapon in its war against civilians in Gaza. More than two million Palestinians are suffering from hunger due to the occupation’s use of starvation tactics. La Via Campesina stands firm in its commitment to supporting the Palestinian people in their struggle for justice and their right to live in dignity.

This ruling gives us hope, showing that justice can triumph over oppression. La Via Campesina stands united, continuing to fight for lasting freedom and respect for Palestine and its people.

La Via Campesina stands resolute in solidarity, echoing the call for enduring freedom and dignity for Palestine and its people.

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