The United Nations International Criminal Court ordered this Friday, January 26, 2023, that Israel must ‘prevent acts of genocide’ in Gaza.
This Saturday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) finally issued a verdict on provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel. The Court ordered Tel Aviv to take measures to prevent acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip and to allow humanitarian aid to enter the besieged area.
“The court recalls that its orders on provisional measures have binding effect and thus create international legal obligations for any party to whom the provisional measures are addressed,” said the Court’s presiding judge Joan Donoghue Saturday.
It was last month in December that South Africa filed a case against Israel at the ICJ, accusing it of committing the act of genocidal against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which if proven, would be a violation of the 1948 UN Genocide Convention signed by Israel the same year.
In his pleading against Israel, South Africa provided the ICJ with evidence of open calls made by Israeli soldiers, politicians, and officials for the killing, ethnic cleansing, or forced displacement of Palestinians in Gaza.
In its Saturday’s preliminary ruling, the ICJ also “recognized the Palestinians’ right to be protected from acts of genocide,” and ordered Israel to “prevent and punish incitement to genocide in the Gaza Strip.”
As a signatory of the status of the International Court of Justice, Israel is now obliged to report to the Court within a month on what it is doing to uphold the provisional measures and prove that it has not committed genocide in Gaza.
But even though the ruling creates “international legal obligations” for Israel, it failed to order an end to Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza, nor could the Court oblige Israel to commit itself to a ceasefire.
Hamas hailed the Court’s ruling, Israel hated it!
In a statement addressing the Court’s decision, Hamas said that it would adhere to a ceasefire if the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled on it, provided that Israel would do so as well.
“[We are] following with great interest the deliberations of the International Court of Justice, after the request that the State of South Africa gratefully submitted to the Court to stop the genocide against our people, especially in Gaza. In light of this, Hamas declares its position,” Hamas said in the statement, adding that “If a decision is issued by the court in The Hague to cease fire, the Hamas movement will adhere to the ceasefire as long as the enemy adheres to it.”
Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri also called the court’s decision a significant development that contributes to isolating Israel and exposing its crimes in Gaza. “We call for forcing the occupation to implement the court’s decisions,” he said in an interview with Reuters.
Israel, however, took an exactly opposite approach towards the ICJ ruling on Saturday. Following the end of the Court’s session, Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir strongly rebuked the ICJ and labeled it as being “antisemitic toward Israel.”
But what was so embarrassing for Ben Gvir was that he accused the Court of closing its eyes on Holocaust, neglecting the fact that the ICJ – in its current iteration – was founded in 1945, the same year the Nazi genocide of European Jews had come to an end.
“The decision of the antisemitic court in The Hague proves what was already known: This court does not seek justice, but rather the persecution of Jewish people. They were silent during the Holocaust, and today they continue the hypocrisy and take it another step further,” the Jewish supremacist official wrote in a tweet on X.