Only socialist revolutions can bring the ruling classes of the world to trial for their crimes!

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THE International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel must halt its military offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza.

This ruling came after South Africa had asked the ICJ to order a halt as an emergency measure, correctly saying Israel’s actions in Rafah amount to a ‘genocidal’ operation threatening the survival of the Palestinian people.

The request forms part of a larger case South Africa has brought before the court about Israel’s actions in Gaza. However Israel is not going to comply with the ICJ. It has said and has proven in practice that its own Rafah offensive is under way, with its mountain of corpses and its aim, the ‘final solution’ to the Hamas problem, through a massive and deadly assault on the Palestinian people.

As far as Israel is concerned, defeating Hamas, whatever the cost for the Palestinian masses is well worth it and is the only way to secure its rule over Palestine.

Its silent allies, are the US and UK ruling classes, who supply Israel with arms and have invested heavily in preventing at any cost the formation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

So far, Israel is doing a job for both the US and UK ruling classes. The Israeli military offensive started in Rafah on 7 May and it has already displaced some 800,000 Palestinians.

The current president of the court, Judge Nawaf Salam, led yesterday’s hearing and said that the Court must determine first of all whether there’s been a change in the situation since the court’s order of 28 March this year.

He observed that the court has witnessed ‘with regret that the catastrophic living conditions of people in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated further’, especially the prolonged and widespread deprivation of food, bringing in starvation for many Palestinians.

The current court session is now beginning and will consider South Africa’s request to order a halt to Israel’s Rafah offensive in Gaza. It has already found that the claim that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza was ‘plausible’. This interpretation spread quickly, appearing in UN press releases, statements from campaign groups and media outlets including the BBC.

In April, however, South Africa’s Joan Donoghue, the president of the ICJ at the time of that ruling, said in a BBC interview that this was not what the court had ruled. Rather, she said, the purpose of the ruling was to declare that South Africa had a right to bring its case against Israel and that Palestinians had ‘plausible rights to protection from genocide’ – rights which were at a real risk of irreparable damage.

The judges had stressed that they did not need to say for now whether a genocide had occurred, but concluded that some of the acts South Africa complained about, if they were proven, could fall under the United Nations’ Convention on Genocide.

Some months after the International Court of Justice ruled on Israeli genocide in Gaza, a long overdue move by the ICC has taken place. The International Criminal Court is currently seeking arrest warrants for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant, on charges of war crimes.

There are also calls for the court to investigate governments which have been accessories to Israeli crimes against Palestinians. The UK is a close ally of Israel and has provided much material support for its ongoing extermination campaign in Gaza.

Karim Khan, the ICC Chief Prosecutor, as already said that on the basis of evidence, collected and examined by his office, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and minister of military affairs, Yoav Gallant, bear criminal responsibility for the international crimes, committed on the territory of the State of Palestine, from at least the eighth of October 2023.

In the nearly seven months since October, the world has seen endlessly gruesome images emerging from the Gaza Strip of the ongoing Israeli extermination campaign. The Israeli regime and its allies have dismissed the ICC announcement. But its repercussions cannot be underestimated. The reality is that the US and UK ruling classes are not going to allow war crimes trials for the Israeli racist leadership.

The only way this is going to happen is when the workers and the youth of the world rise up to bring their rulers down. Then there will be extensive war crimes charges brought, and not just against the Israeli military regime!