More on the International Court of Justice, UNRWA and ongoing violence in Gaza. Of course it is no accident that the news regarding the 12 UNRWA workers was released by Israel the day after the ICJ made its ruling. It’s also worth noting that, if proven true as it seems it may be, this is 12 employees out of 13,000 employees in Gaza. And for this the primary funding for aid has been cut by the US and other allies/backers of Israel.

    As is true of the larger historical context of this conflict, the violence and reaction is wildly out of proportion. This is addressed in several current podcasts and YouTube videos covering the story.

    I’ll start with Democracy Now: Despite Looming Gaza Famine, U.S. Halts UNRWA Funding After Israel Claims Staff Aided Oct. 7 Attack

    On the same day the U.N.’s highest court accepted South Africa’s case alleging genocide in Gaza, Israel accused 12 employees with the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, of taking part in the Hamas attack on October 7. The United States and at least 10 other nations have now suspended funding to the agency, which retains a staff of over 13,000 and provides essential aid to most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents. “It’s the worst possible reaction to these allegations,” says Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. He calls for an investigation but says donors must continue to support aid groups, with UNRWA being the most important. “All of us combined other groups are not even close to being what UNRWA is for the people of Gaza,” says Egeland. UNRWA has responded to the allegations by announcing the group will “immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation.”

    Then there is this post at The Majority Report with Sam Seder

    The Guardian: Will the ICJ ruling change anything in Gaza? – podcast

    The ruling was significant, but both sides found cause for relief. For Israel it was that the ICJ stopped short of ordering a ceasefire; for Palestine it was that the court found the claims were plausible and required further investigation.

    Alongside those findings the court ruled that aid must be allowed into Gaza. But at the same time, another story was breaking – that employees of UNRWA, one of the biggest aid agencies in Gaza, were involved in the 7 October attacks on Israel. The Guardian’s diplomatic editor, Patrick Wintour, explains how the allegations unfolded.

    In response, he tells Nosheen Iqbal, at least 11 countries including the UK have cut funding to the UN agency. With food, clean water and medical supplies so scarce, and UNRWA essential to the lives of many in Gaza, the defunding of the organisation could lead to catastrophic consequences the UN warns. What effect will this have on the shape of the conflict going forward – and on the negotiations currently underway over releasing the hostages and a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas?

    What Happens Now That the ICJ Has Ordered Israel Not to Engage in Genocide?

    **Provisional Measures the ICJ Has Ordered Israel to Immediately Implement **

    The ICJ ordered Israel not to commit genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza immediately, even as the ICJ continues its slow process of officially considering the merits of the genocide case.

    The court concluded that “the catastrophic humanitarian situation” in Gaza “is at serious risk of deteriorating further before the Court renders its final judgment.” Moreover, the court said that the right of the Palestinians to be protected against genocidal acts and South Africa’s right (as a party to the Genocide Convention) to ensure Israel’s compliance with the convention could be safeguarded by provisional measures.

    The ICJ found “a real and imminent risk that irreparable prejudice will be caused to the rights found by the Court to be plausible.” The court wrote, “It is therefore necessary, pending its final decision, for the Court to indicate certain measures in order to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible.”

    The Worst Case Scenario Is Here

    Alex Pareene then joins, diving into Democrats’ ongoing attempt to pin the accountability for Biden’s war in the Middle East on Brett McGurk, Biden’s NSC Coordinator for the Middle East, and touches on Biden’s recent statements on his strikes on Yemen as a perfect encapsulation of US foreign policy. Alex and Emma also parse through Bibi Netanyahu’s recent statements outrightly rejecting the idea of a Palestinian state, the growing violence in the Middle East, and the hollowness of many 2-state solution arguments.