Press release

Green Party says ICJ ruling is rebuke to Israel, renews call for ceasefire

26th January 2024

The Green Party strongly welcomes today’s International Court of Justice’s ruling on the situation in Gaza, and renews its calls for an urgent ceasefire. The Green Party in particular welcomes the court’s ruling that Israel must ensure its forces do not commit genocide and take measures to improve the humanitarian situation.

There should be no hesitation or delay in turning these final and binding orders into reality. The court’s decision reflects both common sense and the measures that both the Green Party and the Government have been demanding for some time.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the ruling is a clear rebuke of the actions of Israel which has seen the continued bombardment and inhumane siege of the Gaza strip for 112 days now. He added that the Irish government would now strongly consider intervention in the case, following detailed analysis of the Court’s decision.

He reiterated the Green Party's calls for an immediate ceasefire and the release of Israeli hostages as the only way in which the measures outlined by the court can be achieved.

“Today’s ruling is a clear rebuke to the actions of the state of Israel in Gaza. It calls on Israel to take all the measures it must to prevent acts in line with the Genocide Convention. This includes an end to killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, or inflicting conditions of life on Palestinians as a group calculated to bring about its destruction.”

“The only way this can happen is if the horrific actions by the Israeli state end now. Hamas must end its campaign. We must have an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages. Over the past months, over 25,000 people have been killed, 70% of them women and children. We’re witnessing mass starvation with at least one in four Gazans facing catastrophic hunger. Over two-thirds of buildings have been destroyed or severely damaged including schools and hospitals. This is the destruction of a people on a scale that is unprecedented and cannot continue.”

“This critical case starts now and the Irish government will consider today’s ruling, assess the case seriously, and look to make our own contributions as a state that values and upholds human rights,” Ryan said. “Our voice can be strongest when it is applied to legal structures and UN institutions in place, like the ICJ. That is when we can be most effective in protecting the rights and lives of Palestinians."

The Green Party believes that it is vital that Israel act immediately to implement these orders and that other countries work to ensure that the court’s decisions are turned into reality and the suffering is ended. At this difficult time in many parts of the world, the rule of law is more important than ever. All countries must work together to back the International Court of Justice and other institutions that uphold human rights and our values. We cannot have a la carte justice where the court’s decisions are ignored in some cases and supported in others.

There is little doubt that the best way to do this in Gaza is an immediate halt to Israel's military operation. The scenes of human suffering that have been brought about by Israel’s military action are gut-wrenching to witness. Israel and Hamas must be held accountable for any and all violations of international humanitarian law, including potential war crimes, but an immediate ceasefire will at least ease any further suffering.

We welcome the fact that South Africa has brought this case to the International Court of Justice  - it made a number of very valid arguments which deserve to be investigated thoroughly by the court. The Government has already signalled that it will give very serious consideration to joining the case. We should of course consider what the court has said and assess it properly from a legal prospective. We are confident that we will do so quickly and robustly before making a decision that will stand up. Ireland wasn’t able to join the case before now as the case was at a provisional stage. 

This is exactly the approach Ireland took when it intervened in Ukraine’s ICJ case against Russia. We studied what the ICJ said and then we joined the case. Ireland has a strong record of intervening in international cases on Palestine. Two years ago, Ireland backed asking the ICJ to give an advisory opinion on the consequences of Israel’s policies and practices in occupied Palestinian territory.

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