Mon Jul 15, 2024
July 15, 2024

Israel on Trial at the International Court of Justice

After being condemned in the streets around the world, it is now the turn of the Hague Tribunal to put the racist state of Israel on trial. At the request of the South African government, the International Court of Justice, known as the Hague Tribunal, began hearings on January 12.

By Fabio Bosco

On that day, the South African jurists, backed by the moral weight of those who fought for decades against the apartheid regime in their country, didactically exposed the ongoing genocide in Gaza, with thousands of dead and wounded, the destruction of a large number of buildings, including houses, schools, and hospitals. To demonstrate the deliberateness with which Israel has unleashed violence, they pointed to the 17-year siege of Gaza, with restricted access to food, drinking water, electricity, and fuel, and also included several racist statements by Israeli cabinet ministers advocating the expulsion of Palestinians.

On the following day, the representatives of Israel argued that there is no intention to totally or partially annihilate the Palestinians, despite the cutting-off of water and electricity, the restrictions on access to food, medicine, and fuel, and the public statements of its rulers and governors.

The Hague Court is expected to take years to reach a verdict, but could issue an interim ruling in a few weeks calling for a cease-fire. The state of Israel never complies with any U.N. decision that is not in its interests, counting on the U.S. veto and also on the connivance of the five permanent members of the Security Council who are its allies, to prevent any resolution against the Zionist state

Several countries have declared their support for South Africa’s request, the most important being Brazil. President Lula met with the Palestinian ambassador on January 11 and issued a report on the meeting. In this report, he announced Brazil’s support for the South African request, but at the same time he equated the resistance actions of Hamas, which he described as “terrorist,” with the Israeli genocide.

Moreover, Lula demanded that Hamas release Israelis imprisoned in Gaza, but said nothing about releasing the tens of thousands of Palestinian political prisoners, including a Brazilian named Islam Hamed, who has been held in Israeli prisons known for human rights violations.

Blinken in the Middle East

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to the Middle East for the fourth time in three months on January 5. For six days he met with government officials from Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Bahrain and Egypt.

His goal was to rescue the State of Israel in the midst of a brutal political, social, and economic crisis, as well as the badly damaged image of the Biden administration for its unconditional support of Israeli genocide in Gaza.

A day earlier, on January 4, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held a press conference to present his proposals for the future of Gaza.

Of course, he omitted the main Israeli proposal: the expulsion of Palestinians from Gaza. The Israeli government has been negotiating with African countries such as Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to “host” the expelled Palestinians. This proposal was publicly defended by several ministers, not only by Zionists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, but also by Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel of the Likud party, as well as in leaked official documents.

Gallant argued for the continuation of the 17-year siege of Gaza; the free movement of Israeli troops within the region, as in the West Bank; a definitive solution to prevent any transit of goods across the Gaza-Egypt border via tunnels or other means, to be implemented jointly by Israel, Egypt and the United States; and the formation of a multinational task force for the “rehabilitation” of Gaza, composed of the United States, European and Arab governments (in practice, this means paying for the reconstruction of Gaza under Israeli leadership). To administer Palestinian towns and villages besieged by Israeli forces, he advocated local civilian committees formed by Israeli-appointed Palestinians with no connection to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

Arab leaders, under pressure from their people, rejected Gallant’s proposal for a multinational task force and confined themselves to asking Blinken for an immediate cease-fire and a lasting solution to the Palestinian question, i.e. a clear path to the formation of a Palestinian mini-state based in the West Bank and Gaza. Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman took the opportunity to add some more specific demands: a U.S.-Saudi mutual defense treaty, U.S. cooperation on a Saudi nuclear program, and the sale of more advanced weapons.

Thus, Blinken formulated the U.S. proposal: an end to the war in Gaza and a path to a Palestinian mini-state in the West Bank and Gaza under the command of the Palestinian Authority, in exchange for full normalization of relations with Israel and Arab funding for the reconstruction of Gaza. As first steps, Israel was to reduce attacks, release frozen PA funds, and accept the return of the Palestinian population to northern Gaza.

But the State of Israel did not agree to this plan. Netanyahu only agreed to issue a note on January 12 stating that the State of Israel did not plan to expel the Palestinians (which also helped him face accusations at the Hague Tribunal) and that a U.N. delegation would visit northern Gaza.

Military Strikes on Yemen

The United States has formed a coalition of countries to attack Yemen’s Houthis (the de facto government in key areas of the country) and reopen shipping lanes in the Red Sea. The Houthis carried out dozens of attacks on Israeli-bound ships in solidarity with Gaza, and they eventually restricted all shipping in the area, which accounts for 12% of world trade. Before launching the attacks, the United States and its allies voted in the U.N. Security Council to authorize bombing the Houthis. Russia and China abstained and did not veto the resolution, paving the way for U.S. and British military action. On January 12, the U.S. coalition struck some 70 targets and continued their attacks over the next few days. Despite the attacks, the Houthis vowed to continue solidarity actions with the Palestinians.

World Day of Solidarity

A global day of solidarity with Palestine was held on January 13. Dozens of demonstrations involving thousands of people were held around the world. These actions are essential because, together with the Palestinian resistance in occupied Palestine, they are the main instruments to stop the genocide and achieve the end of the siege of Gaza, which would be a defeat for the state of Israel and a step towards its dismantling.

Article published in www.opiniaosocialista.com.br, 15/1/2024.

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