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ICJ calls for prevention of genocidal acts in Gaza

By Caribbean News Global fav

NEW YORK, USA – The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday declared that Palestinians had a right to be protected from acts of genocide, calling on Israel to “take all measures within its power” to prevent such actions and allow the entry of desperately needed humanitarian aid into the war-shattered enclave.

Reading out the order at the Peace Palace in The Hague – in response to allegations of genocide against Israel by South Africa, which Israel denies – ICJ president Joan Donoghue also called for the release of all remaining hostages taken from Israel during the Hamas-led attacks on Israeli communities in which some 1,200 people were massacred on 7 October.

There was no explicit call for an immediate halt to Israel’s full-scale military operation in the Strip, which is believed to have left more than 26,000 dead, according to Gaza health authorities.

Highlighting that the ICJ was “acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy unfolding in the region” since war erupted in Gaza, Judge Donoghue said that the court remained “deeply concerned about the continuing loss of life and human suffering.” […]

The International Court of Justice delivers its ruling in the case of South Africa v. Israel in The Hague [ICJ-CIJ/ Frank van Beek]
Call for compliance: UN chief

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres noted in a statement the measures pertaining to the Israeli military laid out in the provisional ruling and stressed that “decisions of the Court are binding” and trusts that all parties will duly comply with the order from the Court.

“In accordance with the Statute of the Court, the Secretary-General will promptly transmit the notice of the provisional measures ordered by the court to the Security Council,” UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said.

Influence of top UN officials

With Israel’s and South Africa’s legal teams looking on, Judge Donoghue noted the international community’s longstanding concerns about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza which had formed part of its deliberations.

This included the UN secretary-general’s written warning to the Security Council on 6 December 2023 in which he said that “nowhere is safe in Gaza amid constant bombarding by the Israeli Defense Forces” and that the situation was “fast-deteriorating into a catastrophe with potentially irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region”.

Summaries on the dire situation in Gaza from UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths, reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Palestine relief agency chief Philippe Lazzarini were also quoted directly in the court’s decision.

Next steps

In addition to the provisional measures delivered on Friday, the UN’s top court also asked Israel to submit a report within a month “on all measures taken to give effect to this order.”

Meanwhile, the FCDO stated the ICJ’s interim ruling in the case of South Africa vs Israel, a spokesperson said:

“We respect the role and independence of the ICJ. However, we have stated that we have considerable concerns about this case, which is not helpful in the goal of achieving a sustainable ceasefire.

“Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas in line with IHL, as we have said from the outset. Our view is that Israel’s actions in Gaza cannot be described as a genocide, which is why we thought South Africa’s decision to bring the case was wrong and provocative.

“We welcome the Court’s call for the immediate release of hostages and the need to get more aid into Gaza. We are clear that an immediate pause is necessary to get aid in and hostages out, and then we want to build towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to the fighting.”

ICJ – South Africa v. Israel outlines provisional measure



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