South Africa’s Request Accepted – ICJ Indicates Additional Measures in Genocide Case against Israel

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered on Thursday additional provisional measures in the genocide case against Israel. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The ICJ unanimously ordered Israel to take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure ‘unhindered provision’ of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered on Thursday additional provisional measures, including “unhindered provision” of aid to Gaza, in the ongoing genocide case against Israel upon South Africa’s request.

In a press statement, the top UN court observed that “the catastrophic living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated further, in particular in view of the prolonged and widespread deprivation of food and other basic necessities to which the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been subjected”.

“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,” the statement added.

In the order, which “has binding effect”, the Court reaffirmed the “provisional measures indicated in its Order of 26 January 2024”.

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Moreover, it unanimously ordered Israel to take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure ‘unhindered provision’ of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.”

These measures outline that the required aid includes “food, water, electricity, fuel, shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation requirements, as well as medical supplies and medical care to Palestinians throughout Gaza”.

In the new order, the ICJ calls on Israel, as a signatory of the Genocide Convention, to undertake all necessary measures, “including by increasing the capacity and number of land crossing points and maintaining them open for as long as necessary.”

It also urged 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.”

The Court decided that the state of Israel “shall submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this Order, within one month as from the date of this Order.”

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South Africa’s Urgent Request

On March 6, South Africa once again filed an urgent request with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the provisional measures the Court ordered on January 26, to be strengthened to prevent a catastrophic famine in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The urgent application has been necessitated by widespread starvation in Gaza, which has claimed the lives of at least 15 children in the past week alone, with the actual numbers believed to be much higher,” the South African presidency said in a statement.

It stressed that United Nations experts warn that “the number of deaths will increase exponentially unless military activities are halted and the blockade is lifted.”

‘Extreme Urgency’ – South Africa Files Urgent Request to ICJ over Gaza Starvation

In its new request, the ICJ said, South Africa stated that it is “compelled to return to the Court in light of the new facts and changes in the situation in Gaza — particularly the situation of widespread starvation — brought about by the continuing egregious breaches of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide . . . by the State of Israel . . . and its ongoing manifest violations of the provisional measures indicated by this Court on 26 January 2024”.

It requested the Court to indicate further provisional measures and/or to modify the provisional measures indicated in its Order of 26 January 2024 … “in order urgently to ensure the safety and security of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, including over a million children”, the ICJ stated.

Genocide Case

On December 29, 2023, South Africa approached the ICJ seeking an order to prevent Israel from committing genocide against the Palestinian people.

On January 26, 2024, the Court ruled that South Africa’s claim met the standard of plausibility and, on the request of South Africa, ordered Israel inter alia, to take action to prevent and punish genocide, incitement to genocide, and to enable the immediate and effective provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance to besieged Gaza.

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These ‘Provisional Measures’ were issued by the Court to prevent irreparable and irreversible harm to the rights of Palestinians pending the Court’s final decision on the case.

“Regrettably, Israel has not complied with the Court’s binding Order, but has instead escalated its genocidal acts against the Palestinian people,” the Presidency said.

More than 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 Gaza starting on October 7.

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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