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ICJ Delivers Judgement on South Africa’s Genocide Case Against Israel

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The Hague, 26 January 2024 (WAI): On Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling on South Africa’s Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip.

South Africa requested proceedings against Israel on 29 December 2023 in the ICJ for committing acts of Genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention. Subsequently, the ICJ conducted public hearings on 11-12 January 2024.

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The ICJ delivered its judgment in the presence of sixteen of its seventeen judges. The court declared that it had jurisdiction to rule in the case. The court ordered Israel to take measures to prevent acts of Genocide in the Gaza Strip and appear before the court within one month to report back. The ICJ urged Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza to address the adverse conditions of life. The court called on Israel to take more measures to protect Palestinians.

Israeli Judge Barak voted in favor of only two provisional measures. Meanwhile, Judge Sebuti nde from Uganda was the sole judge to vote against all temporary measures. The ICJ ruling has a legally binding effect on Israel.

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In response, the Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, issued a video statement saying that Israel is fighting a just war like no other and it has the right to defend itself while adhering to International Law. He added that the charge of Genocide is not only false but also outrageous.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry welcomed the ICJ’s order, calling them an essential reminder that no state is above the law. South Africa called it a decisive victory for the international rule of law. The ICJ judgment is being considered a massive diplomatic win for South Africa, exerting pressure on Israel.

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