Israel dealt blow as ICJ progresses genocide case

Is the interim measure a step toward justice or a missed opportunity to have called for an end to bloodshed?

BY ZISHAN KHAN/DR. ASIM QURESHI
The 15-judge panel during a court session.

In a landmark ruling that has elicited mixed reactions, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued a judgment on the case for genocide brought to its attention by South Africa. [1]

Following the launch of the case last Thursday, the court has today confirmed that South Africa — the former apartheid state — has a prima facie genocide case against the world’s last remaining apartheid state, Israel. [1] [2]

However, this interim measure falls far short of addressing the immediate needs of the Palestinian people in Gaza, who continue to endure relentless bombings and widespread devastation.

ICJ ruling in short

In a welcome move, the court has now asserted its jurisdiction over the case.

In addition, the following can be noted:

  • Israel is ordered to implement measures to prevent acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip and report back within one month.
  • The court emphasises Israel’s responsibility to prevent and punish any incitement to genocide in the area.
  • Israel must ensure the passage of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
  • While the court obliges Israel to take additional measures to protect Palestinians, it stops short of demanding the cessation of military operations in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has no morals

Despite not being explicitly stated in the court ruling, Naledi Pandor, the South African Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, stressed that Israel must halt fighting in Gaza, in order to comply with the UN court’s orders.

She highlighted the inherent need for a ceasefire to facilitate the provision of aid and water in the region.

Speaking on the steps of the ICJ in The Hague, Pandor posed the question,

“How do you deliver humanitarian aid without a ceasefire? How do you provide water, access to energy? How do you ensure that those who are injured have healthcare and so on? Without a ceasefire, not one of these things can be done.” [3]

Hamas — one of the main political parties and resistance organisations in Palestine — regarded the court’s ruling as “important”, saying that it aids in isolating Israel on the world stage. [4]

In a statement, it said,

“The [International] Court of Justice’s decision is an important development which contributes to isolating Israel and exposing its crimes in Gaza.” [4]

On the other hand, and as expected, the Zionist state’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu absurdly claimed that the charge of genocide is,

“…not only false, it’s outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it.” [3]

Ruling is progress, but more needs doing

Despite these developments, the ruling has not met the immediate and pressing expectations of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Our brothers and sisters are suffering from genocide, constant bombardment, displacement, and trauma. From the ICJ, they had hoped for a clear statement demanding a cessation of hostilities.

Likewise, the continued bombing in areas like Khan Younis and the northern territory shows that Israel has no intention to cease its unacceptable attacks against a huge civilian population that wants nothing more than an end to this devastation.

Has this ruling emboldened Israel?

Some may argue that the incredibly dire situation in Gaza, marked by systematic killings and warnings of famine, has only been exacerbated by the ICJ failure to call for an immediate halt to the hostilities.

It cannot be overstated how much the Gazan populace yearns for an end to its suffering, to return to their homes, and to rebuild their lives. The court’s decision, while historic, needs to be built upon with a more substantial ruling, one that demands a cessation of hostilities, the removal of all Zionist troops from Palestine, and the return of all prisoners of war held by Israel.


Dr. Asim Qureshi
RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CAGE INTERNATIONAL

It is worth reminding ourselves that it is day 113 of the genocide, and just in the last day there have been 183 murders by Israel, with almost 400 people injured, too.

And whilst I have much hesitancy over international bodies and tribunals, we need every single route possible to help during this especially challenging time faced by the Ummah.

We can certainly call this a convincing humiliation for Israel — having had its criminal acts and statements so openly referred to in the World Court. However, the truth is that this is not a judgment for a ceasefire. Rather, it is really only a request for Israel not to breach the Genocide Convention of 1948.

And judging by its barbaric actions over the past three months and counting, it is difficult to see a situation where the Zionist state actually puts down its arms and grounds its fighter jets that are continuing to destroy what little is left of Gaza at this stage.

 


Also read


Source: Islam21c

Notes

[1] https://www.enca.com/top-stories/icj-rules-sa-has-prima-facie-genocide-case-against-israel

[2] https://www.islam21c.com/editorials/genocidal-israel-at-hague-what-is-your-duty/

[3] https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20240126-israel-must-prevent-genocidal-acts-in-gaza-un-court

[4] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/liveblog/2024/1/26/live-icj-to-issue-preliminary-ruling-in-south-africa-genocide-case-against-i?update=2651138

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