January 26, 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accepted South Africa’s request for provisional measures to their application of the convention on the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide in the Gaza strip by the state of Israel. The Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) acknowledges ICJ’s provisional measures against Israel and demands the Canadian government to act upon these measures under its obligation to prevent Genocide in Gaza. CMPAC condemns Minister Ahmed Hussen’s decision to halt further funding to UNRWA pending an investigation. This action by Canada, influenced by political pressure, adversely affects the humanitarian aid for over two million Palestinians.

The Canadian government has confirmed earlier that “it will abide by all rulings arising from South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ)”. Canada has an obligation as a signatory to the Genocide convention to enforce its provisions.  Today’s ICJ order places an immediate obligation upon Canada to do the following:

1. Utilize all political and diplomatic avenues to urgently press Israel to end its military operations and human rights violations in Gaza, and to comply with the ICJ’s order.

2. Sever all military, trade and logistical relations with Israel to avoid complicity in potential genocide. This includes ending support from Canadian entities to Israeli military and government sectors.

3. Apply diplomatic pressure on Egypt and Israel to lift the Gaza blockade, ensuring unrestricted access to essential resources and humanitarian aid.

4. Allocate substantial financial and logistical resources to support humanitarian and development initiatives in Gaza.

5. Condemn and sanction any incitement to commit genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, including barring and prosecuting Israeli politicians and leaders who promote such acts and taking action against those who support and endorse genocidal statements. 

CMPAC urges the Canadian government to fulfill these responsibilities to uphold its international commitments under the Genocide Convention. Furthermore, CMPAC calls on all Canadians to actively contact their elected Member of Parliament, expressing disapproval of Canada’s insufficient response, and to urge the government to act swiftly and decisively according to these commitments.

Summary of ICJ’s Provisional Measures*:

The ICJ’s Order indicated the following provisional measures to the State of Israel that must be done in accordance with with its obligations under the Genocide Convention, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza; 

  1. Take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention”; 
  2. “Ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any acts described in point 1 above; in particular: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  3. “Take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip”; 
  4. “Take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip”; 
  5. “Take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II and Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip”; 
  6. Submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this Order within one month as from the date of this Order”.