This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

NGOs urge UK to back ICJ ruling on Rafah


UK needs to back groups and condemn Israel's continued assault in the region

Some 22 charities have welcomed the International Court of Justice’s order to halt Israel’s military offensive in Rafah.

The groups, including the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), also call for the UK government to unreservedly accept the findings of the court as a signatory to the Genocide Convention and the UN Charter.  

Last week the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered additional provisional measures regarding Israel’s alleged violations in Gaza of obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The court ordered that, in light of the worsening conditions in Rafah, Israel must immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah governorate, which may subject the Palestinian population in Gaza to conditions of life that may lead to their physical destruction, in whole or in part.

The court described the conditions in Rafah as ‘disastrous’ and is “not convinced that the evacuation efforts and related measures that Israel affirms to have undertaken to enhance the security of civilians in the Gaza Strip, and in particular those recently displaced from the Rafah Governorate, are sufficient to alleviate the immense risk to which the Palestinian population is exposed as a result of the military offensive in Rafah.”

The statement by the 22 groups reads: “The UK must now do everything in its power to ensure that Israel complies with its obligations under international law, including in respect of all of the measures ordered by the ICJ. The Israeli government has already failed to comply with the ICJ’s orders, and the UK must urgently use every available lever to ensure its compliance, urgently halt Israel’s assault on Rafah, and demand an immediate and lasting ceasefire.

“This includes suspending arms transfers to Israel for as long as there is a risk they may be used to violate international law. The UK must uphold its signatory obligations under the convention to prevent and punish the crime of genocide, and must ensure that it is in no way enabling, or otherwise complicit, in the commission of acts that the court has found could plausibly be in violation of the Genocide Convention."

It continues: “We urge the UK to immediately reverse its decision to pause UK funding to UNRWA, which came shortly after the issuance of the first set of provisional measures issued by the ICJ.

“We welcomed the swift investigation by Catherine Colonna, which found that UNRWA has in place a significant number of mechanisms and procedures to ensure compliance with the Humanitarian Principle of neutrality, and by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

“The denial of funding to UNRWA will only lead to more deaths, at a time when the ICJ has underscored the need to prevent genocide and fulfil the dire humanitarian needs of Palestinians.”

One Aid worker in Rafah, Gaza, said of the situation: "As an aid worker in Gaza the current situation is deeply distressing. The feeling of helplessness and frustration is overwhelming. Our primary mission is to help those in need, but with the borders closed and no aid coming in, our hands are tied.

“We are acutely aware of the worsening conditions and the urgent needs of people, and it is heartbreaking to witness their suffering without being able to provide the necessary support." -

The full list of signatories are: Action for Humanity; Action Aid UK; Amos Trust; Caabu (Council for Arab-British Understanding); CAFOD; Christian Aid; Embrace the Middle East; Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS); Humanity First UK; Interpal; Lady Fatemah Charitable Trust; Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights; Oxfam; Omega Research Foundation; Plan International UK; Protection Approaches; Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP); Quakers in Britain; SCIAF; SOS Children’s Villages UK; Welfare Association; and War on Want.  



Be the first to comment