UN Court Orders Israel To Prevent Genocide In Gaza

Himalaya Times
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Friday ordered Israel to take all possible measures to prevent genocide acts against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The court, by a large majority of the 17 judges, ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent genocide acts, to ensure that its military does not commit genocide, to halt incitement against Palestinians as a group, to preserve evidence and to take immediate measures to ensure humanitarian aid.

"The court is aware of the human tragedy in the region," Judge Joan E. Donoghue, president of the court, said. "The plight of children is particularly heartbreaking. An entire generation of children in Gaza is traumatized. Their future is in jeopardy."

In addition, the court asked Israel to report on the measures regarding the orders within one month. The orders are, according to the court, legally binding.

The court did not order Israel to suspend its military operations in Gaza, one of the main requests submitted by South Africa. The court also called on Hamas to release all Israeli hostages.

Judge Donoghue said that an indication of provisional measures was justified as at least some alleged acts and omissions by Israel in Gaza fall under the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Therefore, the court rejected Israel's wish to drop the case.

On Dec. 29, 2023, South Africa filed an application to the ICJ for proceedings against Israel, concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention of Genocide related to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

In this application, South Africa also requested the court to indicate provisional measures in order to "protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention," and "to ensure Israel's compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide."

Judge Donoghue said that a definite ruling on committing genocide by Israel is not possible yet. Observers say that such a ruling could take years.

Two groups of several dozen demonstrators, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli, waited outside the Peace Palace for the court ruling. Both groups were significantly smaller than those on the two previous public hearing days on Jan. 11-12, 2024.

As the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the ICJ was established by the UN Charter in 1945. It has the power "to indicate, if it considers that circumstances so require, any provisional measures," while resolving legal disputes between countries. Its judgment is final and without appeal.


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2024-01-29 3:15 am

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