The New Zealand Labour Party is calling on the Government to participate in the legal action being led by South Africa regarding Israel’s acts of war in Gaza, Labour spokesperson for Foreign Affairs David Parker said today.
“Last month an overwhelming majority of countries, including New Zealand, voted at the United Nations for an immediate ceasefire, but Israel has shown no intention of letting up. Some Ministers in the Israeli government are continuing to call for Palestinians to be ejected from their own land,” David Parker said.
“South Africa has taken allegations of genocide in Gaza to the International Court of Justice, a claim which Israel denies. The International Court of Justice is the appropriate body to investigate and determine whether the Genocide Convention has been breached, and whether the international laws relating to war are being breached.
"New Zealand under the former Labour Government ‘intervened’ in the recent genocide case between Russia and Ukraine at the International Court of Justice and made legal submissions to support the Court in its deliberations. New Zealand should do the same now for Gaza.”
David Parker said the Government should also support the “interim measures” that South Africa seeks to immediately cease hostilities as part of its case.
“This is the world’s best and most immediate opportunity to stop the killing in Gaza. If the International Court of Justice decides in favour of the interim measures, their finding would then be considered by the UN Security Council. If Israel ignored a Security Council directive to cease hostilities, it would open itself up to UN sanctions.
“The carnage in Gaza must end. Many of the Israeli public are distressed by the accusations at the International Court of Justice. Many also see an end to hostilities is the only way the hostages will be released, and pressure on the Netanyahu to end the fighting is real.”
The International Court of Justice will begin consideration of these interim measures later this week. It is expected the ICJ’s consideration of the genocide claim could take up to two years or more.
South Africa, Israel and New Zealand are all members of the International Court of Justice.
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