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ICJ refrains from ordering Israel to stop fighting in Gaza but strongly criticizes its conduct

Israel ordered to take several measures and submit report in about one month

Judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rule on emergency measures against Israel following accusations by South Africa that the Israeli military operation in Gaza is a state-led genocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, January 26, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw)

The International Court of Justice in The Hague on Friday ordered the State of Israel to take several measures to ensure the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza, but did not specifically order it to stop the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

In its decision, the court (ICJ) at first established it had the authority to rule on the case leveling charges of ‘genocide’ brought forward by the South African government and strongly criticized Israel’s conduct.

The court also decided that the case would not be thrown out completely, as Israel had urged, but crucially, it did not order an immediate ceasefire of the war against the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

Instead, the ICJ issued five measures that Israel is required to take immediately before submitting a report to the court in one month’s time.

Responding to the court's provisional ruling, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again slammed the accusation of 'genocide,' and reiterated that Israel had the right to self defense.

"The vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state, and it was justly rejected. The charge of genocide leveled against Israel is not only false, it’s outrageous," the prime minister said.

He vowed that Israel would continue to obey international law and to facilitate humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.

According to the World Court's provisional ruling, Israel must now take several measures to prevent violations of the Genocide Convention, and especially prevent its military troops from committing such acts.

At this point the court also specifically included South Africa's controversial accusation that Israel purposefully prevented women in Gaza from giving birth.

In addition, Israel must prevent and punish public incitement inside the country to commit genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

Furthermore, the Jewish state must ensure that basic humanitarian services are being provided in the Gaza Strip to address “adverse conditions of life” in the coastal enclave.

Finally, Israel must prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence that would implicate Israel in acts against the Genocide Convention, and submit a report about its actions to the ICJ after one month.

All the required measures were backed by a large majority of the ICJ's 17 justices, including Israeli representative Aharon Barak, who supported two of them.

The only dissenting voice to all the measures came from Uganda's representative at the court, Justice Julia Sebutinde.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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