By fifteen votes to two, the International Court of Justice indicated the following provisional measures:
The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, 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;
Israel will have to halt fighting in the besieged Gaza strip if it wants to adhere to the orders of the International Court of Justice, South Africa’s minister of international relations said on Friday after a ruling by the U.N.’s top court.
In a case brought by South Africa, the World Court ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians and do more to help civilians – although it stopped short of ordering a ceasefire.
“How do you provide aid and water without a ceasefire? If you read the order, by implication a ceasefire must happen,” minister Naledi Pandor said on the steps of the seat of the court in The Hague, Netherlands.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor addressed the media outside the International Court of Justice at The Hague. The ICJ found that at least some acts alleged by South Africa against Israel are correct. Tune in to #eNCA on DStv channel 403. pic.twitter.com/GVmLmj77OR
— eNCA (@eNCA) January 26, 2024
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir slams the International Court of Justice for issuing a series of provisional measures against Israel, calling the international body “antisemitic.”
“The decision of the antisemitic court in The Hague proves what was already known: This court does not seek justice, but rather the persecution of Jewish people. They were silent during the Holocaust [1941-45] and today they continue the hypocrisy and take it another step further,” he says.
The ICJ in its current iteration was founded in 1945.
“Decisions that endanger the continued existence of the State of Israel must not be listened to,” Ben Gvir adds. “We must continue defeating the enemy until complete victory.”
South Africa alleged that Israel’s campaign in the tiny coastal enclave amounted to genocide in the case, which goes to the core of one of the world’s most intractable conflicts, and had asked the court to order Israel to halt the operation.
While the ruling stopped short of that, it nonetheless constituted an overwhelming rebuke of Israel’s wartime conduct and adds to mounting international pressure to halt the offensive that has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians, decimated vast swaths Gaza, and driven nearly 85% of its 2.3 million people from their homes.
In the highly anticipated decision made by a panel of 17 judges, the International Court of Justice decided not to throw out the case — and ordered six so-called provisional measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza.
Many of the measures were approved by an overwhelming majority of the judges. An Israeli judge voted in favor of two of the six.
“The court is acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy that is unfolding in the region and is deeply concerned about the continuing loss of life and human suffering,” Joan E. Donoghue, the court’s president, said.
Provisional measures by the world court are legally binding, but it is not clear if Israel will comply with them. [Continue reading…]
Thomas Macmanus, director of the international state crime initiative at Queen Mary University of London, has highlighted that the court said that there is a plausible case of genocide in Gaza.
“So, we now have a serious risk of genocide,” Macmanus told Al Jazeera, noting that the law stipulates that once there is “a serious risk”, then states have to do “everything they can to stop enabling that genocide and to start taking all action in their capacity to prevent it”.
He added that there will now be a huge amount of pressure on Israel and its backers.
He also underlined the provisional measures setting out the actions that Israel has to take now, the first of which is to stop the killing if that is intended to destroy Palestinians.
“But further than that, they have said that the state of Israel must facilitate all necessary humanitarian aid and restore basic services, so that is, rebuild the health service that has been destroyed inside Gaza, and I think that’s a very strong statement,” he said.