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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague issued an interim ruling on Friday demanding Israel “take all measures within its its power” to prevent its forces from committing acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip, but did not order an immediate ceasefire in the ongoing war triggered by Hamas’ October 7th attack.
The case was initiated by South Africa in December, with the court proceedings getting underway two weeks ago. It will likely take years before a final ruling on the genocide charges against Israel is decreed.
In Friday’s ruling, which can be read in full here, the court voted by a 15-2 margin to back most of the provisional actions sought by South Africa, except for an immediate ceasefire. Israel had asked for the case to be rejected outright.
Israel must now report back to ICJ within a month on the steps it has taken to meet the court’s mandates.
ICJ decisions are irreversible and cannot be appealed, but the court does not have enforcement powers.
CAM CEO Sacha Roytman stated on Friday, “The ICJ’s interim ruling, coming a day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day, shames the memory of those who fought against genocide and the six million Jews on whose ashes the Genocide Convention was built. The ruling strips the rights of their descendants, the Jewish people in their indigenous and ancestral homeland, of their right to prevent another genocide. It sets a precedent which will deny the right of defense from all democracies fighting against terrorists who embed themselves among civilian populations. The ruling will be learned and studied by all terrorist organizations around the world and serve as a blueprint for them to be able to achieve their own genocidal aims, without censure or attack.”
“Finally, we recall that the ICJ made an unequivocal demand to immediately release all of the hostages, something which we share,” he added.
CAM previously denounced South Africa when the court proceedings began two weeks ago, saying, “There is zero legitimacy in accusing a nation fighting genocide of perpetrating the same crime. It would be like accusing the Allies in the Second World War of perpetrating genocide against the Nazis.”