Home NewsAsia SA vs Israel: ICJ ruling demands Israel ceases genocidal acts in Gaza

SA vs Israel: ICJ ruling demands Israel ceases genocidal acts in Gaza

by Zahid Jadwat

The 17-judge panel of the International Court of justice (ICJ) stopped short of ordering a ceasefire. [Picture: Ayesha Vahed/Salaamedia]


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent the commission of genocide in the Gaza Strip. However, the World Court stopped short of instructing a ceasefire as the bombardment wages on.

Delivering the judgement at The Hague, Judge Joan E. Donoghu recognised that Palestinians were a group protected under the Geneva Convention and thus granted certain provisional measures sought by South Africa in its case against Israel.

“The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to the Palestinian people as a group protected by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, desist from the commission of any and all acts within the scope of Article II of the Convention,” she said.

The ruling instructed the apartheid state to desist from (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.


SMread: Eyes on The Hague ahead of ICJ ruling on Gaza Genocide


Immediately after the interim ruling was delivered, a crowd of people gathered outside the ICJ, to back the Palestinian cause, broke into chants calling for an immediate ceasefire. This amidst the mounting number of Palestinian civilians murdered, which now stands north of 25 000.

Speaking in an interview on Al Jazeera, Ramallah City Council member Lubna Farha suggested the ruling was “disappointing” and dashed the aspirations of Palestinians who had repeatedly pleaded for a ceasefire.

“It’s disappointing, to a certain extent, because Palestinian aspirations were to call for an immediate ceasefire and to get all the humanitarian aid into Gaza,” she said, before adding thanks to South African authorities for fighting the matter in the highest court of the planet.

However, she feared the situation in both Gaza and the Occupied West Bank might escalate despite the ruling.

“It will absolutely escalate, because Israel already thinks they are above the law. With this decision, they think they can do whatever they want … Because they think they will not be held accountable, and there’s no firm decision, they will continue and it will even escalate, in my opinion.”

Meanwhile, Israeli security minister Ben Gvir has lambasted the ICJ as an “antisemitic court”. He said it was hypocritical and should be disregarded, adding that Israel should ignore any decision that threatened the occupation state’s existence.

Back home, in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa keenly awaited the ruling as he looked on from a meeting of the African National Congress (ANC)’s national executive committee (NEC). He is expected to address the nation at 17:00 on Friday.


Note: The title of this article has been updated.

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