Saturday 27 January 2024


In a historic decision, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that South Africa’s claim that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza is plausible. Despite its attempts to block the ICJ from issuing provisional measures, Israel has failed to deflect attention from its crimes or justify its unfolding genocide.

With this ruling, the Court has found that there is a plausible case of genocide for Israel to answer in later stages of the legal proceedings instituted by South Africa. To prevent Israel’s actions from further irreparable harm to the Palestinians in Gaza, the Court demanded, in a legally binding order, that Israel and its military, with immediate effect, end all the following acts:

  • killing members of the Palestinian population in Gaza;
  • causing serious bodily or mental harm to the Palestinian population in Gaza;
  • deliberately inflicting on Palestinians in Gaza conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction; and
  • imposing measures intended to prevent births within Gaza.

The Court also demanded that Israel take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to the besieged people in Gaza.

The Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ) calls on the Australian Government to issue a public statement welcoming this decision and to remind Israel that it has a duty and obligation to comply with the ruling. The Australian Government should repudiate any statements from Israeli leaders which dismiss the Court and its ruling, as statements that are an affront to the Court, and the international rules-based system.

The only way to give full effect to the ICJ’s ruling is for an immediate ceasefire so that humanitarian and life-saving relief reaches Palestinians in Gaza who are at risk of mass death from famine and disease. Palestinians in Gaza have endured more than 114 days of death and destruction in the most intense aerial bombardment campaigns in modern history and a severe and devastating siege which has had catastrophic consequences.

States, such as Australia, that are parties to the Genocide Convention have legal obligations to ensure the implementation of the provisional measures, to prevent genocide and to ensure that they are not complicit in genocide.

Rawan Arraf, Executive Director at the Australian Centre for International Justice said:

“Australia is now on further notice, this time from the world’s top court. The government cannot ignore this ruling from the ICJ that the Palestinian people in Gaza are at serious risk of genocide. This ruling demands concrete steps Australia must take. The government must immediately review its economic ties to Israel and impose targeted sanctions. All defence industry partnerships must be suspended, and a two-way arms embargo imposed. This means the government must halt any export of arms and arms components to Israel, including exports being diverted through other countries. Any extant permits must be suspended.

“The Australian government should ensure that any of its citizens serving with the Israeli military are investigated in Australia for any commission of international crimes.

“The Australian government must also support the investigation at the International Criminal Court and call on the Office of the Prosecutor to advance its investigation and swiftly and without delay issue arrest warrants for the case files before the ICC since 2014.”



Link to the ICJ Order on the request for the indication of provisional measures:

For media enquiries contact Rawan Arraf on +61(0)450 708 870.



Share This