Israel in contempt of ICJ orders

John Curr, Brisbane, Feb 9, 2024

In contested proceedings, a Court may make interim orders before the final determination to prevent irreparable harm. Those orders have full force and effect whatever the ultimate decision. Breach of those orders is contempt of court.

The ICJ made a number of interim orders one of which was that Israel must take immediate and effective steps to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza.

In response, Israel, almost immediately, called for the Defunding of the UNRWA relying on its allegations against the 12 UNRWA employees. Many western nations including the United States and Australia have withdrawn funding in response to Israel’s call.

Defunding UNRWA has the effect of denying the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. Those nations who responded to the call are accessories to the contempt.

Israel called for defunding of UNRWA, in breach of the order, doubling down on the alleged genocide, for the purposes of influencing the ICJ in further proceedings. The countries which responded to Israel’s call are complicit.

The defunding is to send a message to the ICJ that if it decides that Israel was non-compliant with the present orders such as to warrant further orders, Israel will not recognise the ICJ’s authority.

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