Israel Ordered to Prevent Acts of Genocide in Gaza

International Court of Justice Orders Israel to Prevent Acts of Genocide in Gaza.

By Patricia Harrity on January 26, 2024

Today the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to take measures to prevent and punish direct incitement of genocide in its ongoing war in Gaza. “The state of Israel shall (..) take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of the genocide convention,” the ICJ said. This was the World Court’s interim ruling, in a case brought by South Africa on December 29th 2023, against Israel before the ICJ, accusing it of “genocidal acts” in its military campaign in Gaza and public hearings on South Africa’s request were held on January 11th and 12th.Source

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 26,083 Palestinians have been killed, and 64,487 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Overwhelmingly Majority Vote

An overwhelming majority of the ICJ’s 17-judge panel voted to order urgent measures, which covered most of South Africa’s request, aside from ordering a halt to the Israeli war on Gaza and the court ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the genocide convention and also ensure that the Israeli army do not commit any genocidal acts in Gaza.

The ICJ issued a series of provisional measures that require Israel to comply with the 1948 Genocide Convention, to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza and act against those who issue genocidal statements. It rejected Israel’s contention that the court did not have the jurisdiction to direct provisional measures and iterated that its findings were binding.

Judge Joan Donahue, the current president of the ICJ, said while announcing the provisional measures that the court had concluded that the “catastrophic situation” in Gaza could get much worse by the time it delivers its final verdict, necessitating provisional measures. Therefore, while the ruling itself does not call for a ceasefire, it could make it harder for Israel’s allies to continue to stonewall global efforts to bring the war to a halt.
image “The ICJ ruling puts a lot more pressure on the US and other Western allies to move on a ceasefire resolution,” Zaha Hassan, a human rights lawyer and a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Al Jazeera. “It makes it a lot harder for the US, along with Israel, to make the case to Western governments that are still very much concerned with international legitimacy, to maintain the idea that Israel is acting within the constraints of international law in Gaza and that it’s acting in self-defence.”

The Palestinian Authority welcomed the ruling. “The ICJ ruling is an important reminder that no state is above the law or beyond the reach of justice,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh Maliki said in a statement. “It breaks Israel’s entrenched culture of criminality and impunity, which has characterised its decades-long occupation, dispossession, persecution, and apartheid in Palestine.”

While the court itself does not have the power to enforce the interim ruling, or indeed the final verdict it delivers in the case, its directives today, Friday 26th January, could influence the war in Gaza, said analysts. Pressure has been mounting on Israel and its American backers in recent weeks, as global calls for a ceasefire continue to pick up steam, Source

Will the Attacks Continue?

Western Allies Expected to Respect The ICJ Ruling

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