International Court of Justice moves against Israel in ‘genocide’ case brought by South Africa

17-judge International Court of Justice panel orders Israel to provide detailed report in one month, demanding IDF protect Gazans and offer humanitarian assistance.

By World Israel News Staff

A 17-judge panel of United Nations judges at the International Court of Justice ruled Friday to proceed with a genocide case against Israel, refusing the Jewish state’s demands that the allegations be removed from the court’s docket.

The International Court of Justice – the judicial arm of the United Nations – made its decision Friday afternoon in response to a petition filed last year by the South African government accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza during the ongoing war with Hamas.

In a 45-minute long statement, ICJ justice Judge Joan Donoghue accepted South Africa’s claim to standing in the case, which involves Israel and the Gaza Strip, citing what the court called “mutual interest” between countries to ensure that the terms of the 1948 Genocide Convention are adhered to.

“In the Court’s view, at least some of the acts and omissions alleged by South Africa to have been committed in Gaza appear to be capable to falling within the (Genocide Convention) provision’s dimensions.”

Donoghue added that the ICJ, in its own determination, has jurisdiction to rule on the claim brought by South Africa.

“The Court concludes that, prima facia, it has jurisdiction pursuant to Article 9 of the Convention, to entertain the case.”

While the court declined to enter an interim ruling on its interpretation of the legality of the war or South Africa’s accusations of genocide, it also rejected Israel’s call to drop the case from its docket.

Instead, the court instructed Israel to file a comprehensive report in one month, responding to South Africa’s claims and proving the Jewish state is in compliance with a five-part order issued by the court.

Notably, the court did not issue an order for an immediate ceasefire.

The 17-judge panel ruled 15-to-2 in three of the four orders, along with the decision to instruct Israel to offer a report, while Israel’s own justice on the panel, Judge Aharon Barak, voted with the majority against Israel on two points.

The five orders handed down by the court, aside from the demand Israel offer a report in one month, include the following:

  1. Prevent the killing of Gazans and the causing of serious bodily harm to Gazans – with no distinction made in the order between civilians and combatants.
  2. Prevent Israel’s military from killing or seriously injuring Gazans.
  3. Prevent and punish incitement in Israel against the population of Gaza.
  4. Provide urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance for the population of Gaza.
  5. Protect any evidence of genocide against Gazans.
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Barak voted with the majority against Israel on the third and fourth provisions of the court’s order.

During her statement, Donoghue charged Israeli leaders with using “dehumanizing language” vis-a-vis the population of Gaza.

“The Court has taken note of a number of comments by senior Israeli officials,” Donoghue said, citing comments by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.