‘Gaza Situation Warrants ICJ Order’ – South Africa Welcomes UN Court Ruling

South Africa brought a genocide case against Israel at The Hague. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“The impact of the International Court of Justice’s order is significant. The changing circumstances in Gaza warrant the implementation of new strategies.”

South Africa has welcomed the order of additional provisional measures by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for Israel to ensure “unhindered provision” of humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.

“The impact of the International Court of Justice’s order is significant. The changing circumstances in Gaza warrant the implementation of new strategies,” the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement on Thursday.

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The latest measures follow South Africa’s urgent request of March 6 for further measures “to prevent Israel from causing irreparable harm” to the rights invoked under the 1948 Genocide Convention in respect of the ongoing siege of Gaza.

The order indicates that the UN Court “agreed with South Africa’s assertion” that the situation in Gaza had deteriorated significantly since the January 26 Court order as a result of Israel’s failure to comply with that Order, the Presidency pointed out.  “Therefore, it was necessary for the Court to indicate further provisional measures.”

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Dozens Die of Starvation

“Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine, as noted in the Order of 26 January 2024, but that famine is setting in, with at least 31 people, including 27 children, having already died of malnutrition and dehydration,” the judges of the Court said.

The Court unanimously ordered Israel to take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full co-operation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision … of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance… as well as medical supplies and medical care to Palestinians throughout Gaza.”

This includes “increasing the capacity and number of land crossing points and maintaining them open for as long as necessary.”

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The Court also ordered Israel to “Ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit acts which constitute a violation of any of the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza as a protected group under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, including by preventing, through any action, the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance.”

Onus on Global Community

Israel has to submit a report to the Court “on all measures taken to give effect to this Order, within one month of the date of this Order.”

“The fact that Palestinian deaths are not solely caused by bombardment and ground attacks, but also by disease and starvation, indicates a need to protect the group’s right to exist,” the Presidency’s statement said.

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It emphasized that the “most effective way to uphold this right is through prevention. The Court’s actions include specific responsibilities to prevent genocide.”

As several judges pointed out, “these responsibilities can only be fulfilled by halting military operations in Gaza and adhering to the court’s directives.”

“If there is non-compliance, the global community must ensure adherence when it comes to the sanctity of humanity,” the statement added.

Over 32,500 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 32,552 Palestinians have been killed, and 74,980 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in the enclave.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

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Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

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