‘ICJ’s Rulings on Israel are Binding’ – UN Secretary-General

Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres. (Photo: Kuhlmann, MSC, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Following the provisional rulings issued by the International Court of Justice in the case of South Africa against Israel, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has said the Court’s decisions are binding. 

“The Secretary-General recalls that, pursuant to the Charter and to the Statute of the Court, decisions of the Court are binding and trusts that all parties will duly comply with the Order from the Court,” his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told the media on Friday. 

The ICJ issued six provisional measures, including that Israel takes all measures to prevent acts of genocide being committed in Gaza, and to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged enclave. 

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Dujarric said the Secretary-General “takes notes” of the Court’s order, “indicating provisional measures in the case of South Africa against Israel on the application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip.”

In this regard, he said, the SG notes that Israel is “to take all measures within its power” in relation to Palestinians in Gaza to prevent the commission of acts within the scope of Article II of the Convention.

This includes “killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the group’s destruction and imposing measures intended to prevent births.”

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Urgent Provision of Humanitarian Aid 

He also notes the Court’s instruction to Israel to ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any of these acts. Furthermore, he noted the Court ordered Israel to take “immediate and effective” measures to enable the provision of urgently needed humanitarian aid. 

The secretary-general also pointed out the “emphasis” of the Court that “all parties to the conflict in the Gaza Strip are bound by international humanitarian law.”

 “In accordance with the Statute of the Court, the Secretary-General will promptly transmit the notice of the provisional measures ordered by the Court to the Security Council,” Dujarric said.

While senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, criticized the Court’s ruling,  South African President Cyril Ramphosa has welcomed the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

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He said on Friday the ruling “marks an important first step in our quest to secure justice for the people of Gaza.”

In December, South Africa filed a lawsuit with the ICJ requesting an injunction against Israel on the grounds that its attacks on Gaza violate the Genocide Convention. 

To understand the ruling from a legal perspective, The Palestine Chronicle sought the opinion of Dr. Triestino Mariniello, Professor of Law at Liverpool John Moores University.

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1 Comment

  1. Now that this has been brought to the ICJ, anyone who opposes an immediate cease-fire ( as well as designating Israel and America as terrorist nations), is also complicit.

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