UN Supreme Court orders Israel to prevent genocide in Gaza, but not stop fighting

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In an interim ruling, the United Nations International Court of Justice ruled on Friday that it has jurisdiction to hear the case brought by South Africa against… IsraelIt rejected Israel’s request to dismiss the case. The case alleges that the “acts and omissions” committed by Israel as part of its attack on Gaza “are genocidal in nature because they aim to destroy a significant portion of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.”

Chief Justice Joan Donoghue said Friday at the court in The Hague, Netherlands, that based on her preliminary assessment of Israel’s actions and statements by Israeli leaders, she would not accept Israel’s request to dismiss the case brought by South Africa. The court did not order an immediate ceasefire, but ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent genocide in Gaza and to preserve any evidence of the crime.

Provided by South Africa I made it In December, Israel turned to the International Court of Justice, requesting an interim order from the court requiring Israel to immediately halt its military operations in Gaza. The court is expected to rule on this request by taking interim measures on Friday.

The International Court of Justice is the highest court in the United Nations and its rulings are binding, but it does not have the authority to enforce them.

Israel has strongly rejected accusations of genocide, insisting it was acting within its right to self-defense and accusing South Africa of “shameless impudence” in raising the case, which it dismissed as a “false and baseless” defense of Hamas. Earlier this month, she asked for the case to be dropped.

Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping about 240 others. Israel immediately launched a counterattack against the group in Gaza, with the declared aim of destroying it. This attack killed more than 26,000 people, most of them women and children, according to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-run Palestinian Territories. Hamas, which has long been classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union, has ruled the Gaza Strip since the 1990s.

In its application to the court, South Africa accuses Israel of “killing Palestinians in Gaza, inflicting physical and mental harm upon them, and subjecting them to living conditions designed to physically destroy them.” It also says that Israel “continues to violate its other fundamental obligations under the Genocide Convention, including failing to prevent or punish direct and public incitement to genocide by senior Israeli officials and others.”

Adopted by the United Nations Genocide Convention In 1948 after the Holocaust. In it, “genocide” is defined as any one of a series of acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” These actions include:

Killing members of the group, causing serious physical or mental harm to members of the group, intentionally subjecting the group to living conditions intended for its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

The Israeli government and military say a number of measures have been taken to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza, including dropping leaflets warning of upcoming attacks, contacting civilians by phone urging them to leave buildings that will be targeted, and calling off some strikes if civilians are targeted. on my way.

“The horrific suffering of civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, is first and foremost a result of Hamas’ strategy,” Israeli Foreign Ministry legal advisor Tal Baker said earlier this month. “If there were acts of genocide, they were committed against Israel… Hamas seeks genocide against Israel.”

The International Court of Justice is a civil court and generally decides disputes between member states of the United Nations. Although its decisions are binding, the fact that it does not have the means to implement its provisions means that countries can get away with ignoring them, as is the case in the case of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

In 2022, the International Court of Justice ruled that Russia must “immediately suspend the military operations it began on 24 February 2022 in the territory of Ukraine”, after the Ukrainian government filed a case alleging that the Russian military was also committing genocide. Fighting continues in Ukraine.

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