UK must take urgent action after ICJ genocide ruling, Quakers say
Quakers have welcomed, with a heavy heart, the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), that there is a plausible risk Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
The ICJ, the UN's highest court, did not call on Israel to immediately suspend its military campaign but it stated unequivocally that Israel must stop killing Palestinian civilians with immediate effect.
The British government, alongside other signatories to the Genocide Convention, is legally bound to ensure that measures ordered by the court are taken immediately.
Rishi Sunak must now suspend all UK arms sales and military support to Israel immediately, Quakers said in a statement, or risk complicity in genocidal acts.
In their interim ruling on the case brought by South Africa charging Israel with the crime of genocide, the ICJ also stated that it is gravely concerned about the fate of the Israeli hostages.
Quakers in Britain has joined its call for their immediate and unconditional release.
Israel must let more humanitarian aid into Gaza or risk a serious violation of the Genocide Convention, the ICJ ruled.
UK must reinstate funding to UNRWA immediately
Quakers in Britain has called on the UK government to immediately reverse its decision to 'temporarily pause' all funding to the UNRWA, the UN agency providing urgent humanitarian assistance in Gaza.
This decision followed the dismissal of 12 UNRWA staff accused of involvement in the 7 October attacks, but Quakers said it could once again put the UK at serious risk of complicity in genocidal acts.
UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said: “Our humanitarian operation, on which two million people depend as a lifeline in Gaza, is collapsing.
“I am shocked such decisions are taken based on alleged behaviour of a few individuals and as the war continues, needs are deepening and famine looms."
“As the former colonial power in the Holy Land, the UK bears particular responsibility for the decades-long violence between Israelis and Palestinians," Quakers said.
“This ruling makes clear that UK actions since 7 October in support of the Israeli military campaign now put the British government at risk of complicity in genocidal acts."
Over 26,000 Palestinians, including 11,000 children, and 1,200 Israelis, including 36 children, have been killed since the Hamas attacks of 7 October.
Quakers in Britain continue to call for an immediate ceasefire and release of all hostages.
“The devastation of human life in Gaza that we are witnessing live our TV and phone screens day after day goes against our fundamental Quaker belief that every life is sacred," they said.