UN Court Demands Israel Take Actions To Prevent ‘Genocide’ In Gaza

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The United Nations (UN) International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel on Friday to take actions to ensure it does not commit genocide in the Gaza Strip.

South Africa brought a case before the ICJ in late December demanding Israel halt its counteroffensive against Hamas and accusing the country of committing genocide against the people in Gaza, an accusation that Israel vehemently denies, according to The Washington Post. The ICJ did not order a full ceasefire, but ruled that Israel must take immediate measures to prevent genocide, noting that there may be merit to South Africa’s accusations. (RELATED: ‘That’s A Lot’: Reporter Asks John Kirby If Administration Tracks Carbon Emissions For Aid Flights To Ukraine, Israel)

“In the court’s view, at least some of the acts and omissions alleged by South Africa to have been committed by Israel in Gaza appear to be capable of falling within the provisions of the [Genocide] convention,” the ICJ stated on Friday, according to the Post. “The court considers it cannot accede to Israel’s request that the case be removed from the list.”

“The court considers that the civilian population in the Gaza Strip remains extremely vulnerable,” ICJ Judge Joan Donoghue said, according to the Post. “The court considers that the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is at serious risk of deteriorating further before the court renders its final judgment.”

The ICJ acknowledged that Israel and South Africa have “clearly opposite views” on the matter, noting that Friday’s rulings are initial and part of the ongoing case, according to the Post. The ICJ did not rule on whether Israel is committing genocide, which will likely take years to make a final determination on.

The ICJ also ruled that Israel must immediately increase humanitarian aid to Gaza, according to the Post. It also ordered that Israel produce a report in one month with its progress on abiding by the court’s rulings.

While the ICJ’s rulings are legally binding, the court has no formal authority or power to enforce them, according to the Post.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the ICJ ruling that Israel will “continue to do what is necessary” to defend itself, noting that the country is already taking efforts to abide by international law.

“The charge of genocide leveled against Israel is not only false, it’s outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it,” Netanyahu said.

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