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Friday, May 24, 2024

ICJ announces its verdict in case of genocide

However, the court fell short of ordering a ceasefire, a measure that South Africa had sought.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a directive to Israel on Friday, instructing the nation to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinian population and urging increased efforts to safeguard civilians. However, the court fell short of ordering a ceasefire, a measure that South Africa had sought. The case was brought to the ICJ by South Africa earlier in the month, pleading for emergency measures to halt the conflict that has resulted in the death of over 26,000 Palestinians.

South Africa’s case accused Israel of engaging in state-led genocide during its offensive, which was initiated after Hamas militants stormed into Israel, causing the death of 1,200 individuals and the kidnapping of over 240. Israel had sought to have the case dismissed, contesting the allegations.

Not mentioned ceasefire explicitly 

In the ruling delivered on Friday, the judges stipulated that Israel must take all necessary measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide. Moreover, they called for punitive actions against offenders and urged steps to improve the dire humanitarian situation. While the ICJ refrained from ordering a ceasefire, it expressed a commitment to keeping the genocide case under consideration, asserting that the Palestinian population appeared to be a protected group under the 1948 Genocide Convention. The court, however, did not make a determination regarding the merits of the genocide allegations.

During the reading of the ruling, Judge Joan Donoghue emphasized the grave humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, noting a significant risk of further deterioration before a final judgment is rendered. The ICJ stressed the urgency, citing a real and imminent risk of irreparable prejudice to the plausible rights of the Palestinians before a final decision is reached.

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Israel, in response to South Africa’s allegations, vehemently denied the accusations, branding them as false and “grossly distorted.” The nation asserted its commitment to minimizing civilian casualties and avoiding harm to non-combatants in its military actions. The ongoing reading of the ruling by the panel of 17 judges reflects the gravity and complexity of the situation, as acknowledged by Joan E. Donoghue, the court’s president.