ICJ Issues New Order in Genocide Case Against Israel

The World Court cited “exceptionally grave” developments, especially the “spread of famine and starvation,” in once again ordering Israel to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice, principal judicial organ of the U.N., holds public hearings on Israel practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, from Feb. 19 to 26, 2024. (ICJ)

By Brett Wilkins
Common Dreams

Citing “the worsening conditions of life faced by Palestinians in Gaza, in particular the spread of famine and starvation,” the International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Israel to allow desperately needed humanitarian aid into the embattled enclave and reiterated an earlier directive to prevent genocidal acts.

The ICJ’s new provisional order — which passed by a vote of 15-1, with Israeli Ad-Hoc Judge Aharon Barak dissenting — states that Israel must take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians throughout Gaza.”

This includes “food, water, electricity, fuel, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and sanitation requirements, as well as medical supplies and medical care.”

The Hague-based court also ordered Israel to ensure “with immediate effect that its military does not commit acts which constitute a violation of any of the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza as a protected group” under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The court’s directive is a response to a March 6 request by South Africa, which filed the genocide case against Israel last December. 

On Jan. 26, the tribunal issued a provisional ruling that found Israel was plausibly committing genocide in Gaza and ordering the country to prevent genocidal acts.

A final ruling in the case could take years. ICJ rules permit the court to “revoke or modify any decision concerning provisional measures if, in its opinion, some change in the situation justifies such revocation or modification.”

Critics accuse Israel of ignoring the Jan. 26 order. South Africa said its March 6 request for modification was prompted by “horrific deaths from starvation of Palestinian children, including babies, brought about by Israel’s deliberate acts and omissions” including “concerted attempts” since Jan. 26 to ensure the defunding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “and Israel’s attacks on starving Palestinians seeking to access what extremely limited humanitarian assistance Israel permits into Northern Gaza.”

The new ICJ order notes that “Israel rejects ‘in the strongest terms’ South Africa’s claims that incidents of starvation in Gaza are a direct result of its deliberate acts and omissions.”

However, the court found that “exceptionally grave” recent developments, including “at least 31 people, including 27 children, having already died of malnutrition and dehydration… constitute a change in the situation.”

Underscoring the severity of the crisis, a 5-year-old boy, identified by Al Jazeera as Mohammed Naeem al-Najar, died of malnutrition Thursday at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza. 

This, as Israel is blocking UNRWA aid convoys from entering the northern part of the besieged strip.

The U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday published a draft report that found “reasonable grounds to believe” that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, a move that came on the same day as the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the ongoing war, a move enabled by a U.S. abstention.

More than 30 nations, as well as the Arab League, African Union, and other international organizations, have joined South Africa’s ICJ suit. 

On Wednesday, Ireland said it would intervene in the case after observing “blatant violation of international humanitarian law on a mass scale” by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Palestinian and international officials say that since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, Israeli bombs and bullets have killed at least 32,552 Palestinians — most of them women and children — while wounding nearly 75,000 others. At least 7,000 more Palestinians are missing and feared dead and buried beneath the rubble of hundreds of thousands of bombed-out buildings. Approximately 90 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been forcibly displaced. 

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

8 comments for “ICJ Issues New Order in Genocide Case Against Israel

  1. Emma M.
    April 1, 2024 at 01:35

    More useless theatre from the disgraced and discredited UN. If they cared about Palestinians, they would be wise to learn the way of the AK, not MLK, and they should be well-positioned to understand the superiority of the former after the UN’s constant punishment of people in places like Zimbabwe for trying to practice the latter. It is obvious why Ansar Allah is the only group that has really accomplished much of anything to date.

    Unfortunately, the ICJ consists of lawyers and not people with useful professions, such as in trades or soldiering. In fact, the former would be more helpful to more people than their current jobs, as despite there being more than enough lawyers there is a serious shortage of plumbers and so on, if any in the ICJ would ever like for a change of professions to better help humanity. Plato and Socrates understood well the deep corruption of any state where lawyers abound.

  2. dickkakfresse
    March 31, 2024 at 18:36

    Why don’t they call the genocide by its name and clearly accuse Israel of genocide? The ICJ is a captured agency like any other UN agency (remember the covid ops and the WHO?). They don’t dare to condemn the Zionists who control them.

    It also shows that the so-called “Hamas attack” in October was either done by Israelis themselves to implement their ethnic cleansing campaign or they used Hamas for the same agenda.

    As Lois Gagnon writes, there are other ways and Yemen or Iran are showing the way

    Raeisi: Muslim states must cut all ties with Israel, force it to end crimes

    Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says Muslim countries should sever all political and economic relations with Israel to force the regime to stop its crimes against the people of Palestine.

    In a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, Raeisi said the US administration continues to provide Israel with extensive unqualified financial and military support.

    “One of the most effective ways to force the Zionists to stop crimes in Gaza is to cut off all political and economic relations with this regime.”

    Ireland has also announced it will join South Africa in its case for genocide against the zionist regime.

    Personally I boycott any product sold from corporations owned by or who support Zionists, and there are a lot.

  3. Renate
    March 31, 2024 at 15:01

    Things would be different if we had real and honorable leadership in Washington, a leader willing to honor international laws.
    We don’t have it, for decades American officials have undercut international agreements and that is not likely to change regardless of who wins the election.
    The Western Democracies never made a real effort to protect the human rights of the Palestinian people, democratic leadership has been a total failure. Israelis abused the human rights of the Palestinian people with impunity, any word of criticism is condemned and called anti-Semitism.

  4. JonnyJames
    March 31, 2024 at 12:54

    Pity that the article omits the role of the US in all of this. The Biden regime and Genocide Joe, despite the hollow gestures and empty rhetoric, continue to send weapons. Congress crooks, in typical bipartisan fashion, have de-funded UNRWA and continue to send billions to Israel.

    Israel’s response to the ICJ is “F YOU!” As others have already pointed out, there is no way to enforce the decision and Israel knows it.

    The US could impose a full blockade on Israel and do it legally (unlike the illegal unilateral blockades of Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, etc.) and Israel’s economy and genocide machine would be on its knees within weeks. But no, only blah blah blah and BS as usual.

    And being an “election” year and all, we are already starting to hear that we have to vote for Genocide Joe, because the other genocidal, Zionist, cognitively-challenged freak is worse. WTF? If anyone “votes” for JB or DT (Or RFK Jr.) they support genocide.

  5. John Trout
    March 30, 2024 at 00:19

    The USA/isreal genocide of the Palestinians will continue until the USA presidential election. War presidents are always re-elected.

  6. Lois Gagnon
    March 29, 2024 at 17:25

    This is welcome news, but how will it be enforced? If the law has no enforcement mechanism, it’s meaningless.

    • Em
      March 30, 2024 at 00:59

      “Welcome news” is optimistic, yet “its meaningless” negates the positive in optimism, and in one sentence, from the same person!
      The person has been directly engaged with the UN for 10 years or more in Palestine and knows Israel simply thumbs its nose at any international court decision. In fact it states it does not recognize or approve of any justice system it does not deem to be legitimate.
      It is recognized “the law has no enforcement mechanism” yet realistically there is no other recourse.
      This is Israel’s trump card and it plays its deceptions over and over with a straight face!

      • Lois Gagnon
        March 30, 2024 at 20:40

        There are other possibilities for recourse. Yemen is pursuing one right now. Isolation from the world is another. Some countries are pursuing that route as well.

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