February 29, 2024

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ICJ orders Israel to allow humanitarian access to Gaza and calls on it to prevent possible acts of “genocide”

ICJ orders Israel to allow humanitarian access to Gaza and calls on it to prevent possible acts of “genocide”

It was a historic ruling and South Africa welcomed it and took the matter to court. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) – the UN's highest court – on Friday January 26 asked Israel to do everything possible. “prevent the commission of any act falling within the scope of the application” Genocide Convention, and take “All measures within its power to prevent and punish direct and public incitement to genocide”. However, the ICJ in The Hague did not mention the ceasefire.

In this case, the Court did not address the question of whether or not Israel was committing genocide. He ruled on emergency orders before reviewing the case on its merits, a process that can take years.

Also, the orders of the court settling interstate disputes are legally binding and final, but there is no way to enforce them. For example, he ordered Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine, to no avail.

Israel must also take “Immediate and effective measures to provide Palestinians with the basic services and humanitarian assistance they urgently need to address the adverse living conditions they face.”The ICJ ruled.

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A “decisive victory” for Pretoria

South Africa immediately responded by a “A decisive victory for the international rule of law and an important step in the quest for justice for the Palestinian people”. The Ministry of External Affairs, in its press release, opined that the court “Determines that Israel's actions in Gaza amount to genocide and issues interim measures accordingly”Thanks to her “For his swift end”.

Pretoria began the practice on the grounds that Israel was in violation of the 1948 United Nations Convention on Genocide, established after World War II and the Shoah. “Genocides are never announced in advance”Adila Hashim, a lawyer from South Africa, underlined this during a hearing in January. “But this court has had the benefit of evidence over the last thirteen weeks which indisputably shows a pattern of conduct and intent justifying a credible allegation of acts of genocide.”She added.

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Spain, which has been one of the most critical voices in Europe towards Israel since the start of the conflict with Hamas, also welcomed the decision. “We are (…) I urge the parties to use interim measures [la Cour] Ordered »wrote Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist Prime Minister of Spain. In a message posted on a social media site.

For the EU, this is pending implementation “Thorough, Prompt and Effective” of judgment. Resolutions “The International Court of Justice binds the parties, and they must comply with them”Is it written? Joint press release by the Head of European Diplomacy, Joseph Borrell, and the European Commission.

According to Benjamin Netanyahu, the allegations are “outrageous”.

The affair stirred strong emotions in Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled “defamation” Allegations of “Genocide” Filed by South Africa in Gaza. “Disgusting Attempt to Deny Israel” The “Fundamental Right” Self defense means “Bright discrimination against the Jewish state, that Rightfully rejected,” said Mr. Netanyahu said. Before the verdict, the latter was already angry: “It's the World Upside Down”he said.

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“If there were acts that could be described as genocide, they were committed against Israel”, said Israeli lawyer Tal Becker before the ICJ. Benjamin Netanyahu has already suggested he is not obligated to follow the court order. “No one will stop us, The Hack, or the Axis of Evil, or anyone else.”he said.

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The United States reaffirmed the allegations “Genocide” are against Israel “baseless”In reaction to the ICJ decision. “We note that the court did not find genocide or call for a ceasefire”A spokesperson for the State Department announced that the court has not yet ruled, at this point, on the merits.

For its part, Hamas, which has been in power in Gaza since 2007, has welcomed it “An Important Development” WHO “Isolating Israel”. This is “An important caveat is that no government is above the law”Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki responded in a video message. “States now have a clear legal obligation to end Israel's genocidal war against the Palestinian people of Gaza.”He continues.

“I consider the temporary injunction taken by the International Court of Justice against the inhumane attacks on Gaza valuable and I welcome it”He wrote on the social network “We hope that Israel's attacks on women, children and the elderly will end”he added.

The war was sparked by an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israeli soil on October 7, which killed more than 1,140 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official data. Israel swore “destroy” According to the Islamic Movement's Ministry of Health, Hamas and launched a wide-ranging military operation that resulted in the deaths of 26,083 Palestinians, most of them women, children and adolescents.

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Le Monde with AP, AFP and Reuters