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ICJ rules on Prevention and Punishments of Genocide Crime in Gaza

ICJ rules on Prevention and Punishments of Genocide Crime in Gaza
ICJ President, Joan Donoghue

The International Court of Justice on Friday ruled on South Africa’s orders against Israel at the Peace Palace, in the Hague, Netherlands.

The genocidal case ruled on at the ICJ today, which preceded South Africa’s case against Israel, was filed on December 29th, 2023, but presented before the Justice Court on January 11th, 2024.

The ICJ has ruled in favour of South Africa on its requested order for Israel to suspend its military operation in or against Gaza and for hostage negotiation to be considered.

In a filing application titled: Application of the Convention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel), South Africa makes its genocide case, accusing Israel of conducting an ongoing genocide in Gaza and asking the United Nations court to issue a provisional ruling asserting its jurisdiction and instructing Israel to “immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza.”

The Applicant filed the request for the indication of provisional measures, whereby South Africa requested the Court, as a matter of extreme urgency, should immediately suspend its military operation in or against Gaza while indicating the provisional measures in relation to the Palestinian people be considered as a group protected by the Genocide Convention.

ICJ Ruling

The Court President, Joan E. Donoghue, during the sitting, expressly outlined Articles 41 and 48 of the Statute of the Court and Articles 73, 74, and 75 of the Rules of Court, gave in pursuant to the filed order the following ruling;

The Court concludes on the basis of the above considerations that the conditions required by its Statute for it to indicate provisional measures are met. It is therefore necessary, pending its final decision, for the Court to indicate certain measures in order to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible. In the present case, having considered the terms of the provisional measures requested by South Africa and the circumstances of the case, the Court finds that the measures to be indicated need not be identical to those requested.

Furthermore, the Court is also of the view that Israel must 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.

The Court further considers that Israel must 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.

Israel must also 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 Genocide Convention against members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.

Finally, in view of the specific provisional measures it has decided to indicate, the Court considers that Israel must submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this Order within one month from the date of this Order.

This, however, poses a safety risk to the Palestinians as this addresses only South Africa’s moral obligation or its victory for Palestine and not enough deterrence for Israel, considering the US-Biden Administration just signed a deal with Benjamin Netanyahu to purchase more weapons of war aimed at air superiority in the Middle East.

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