Updated January 27th, 2024 at 10:01 IST

ICJ Orders Israel to 'Prevent Genocide' in Gaza, Falls Short of Calling For Ceasefire

The International Court of Justice on Friday ruled that some of Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip could fall within the terms of the Genocide Convention.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. | Image:AP
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Hague – As the ongoing Israel-Hamas war continues to escalate, the International Court of Justice on Friday ruled that some of Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip could fall within the terms of the Genocide Convention. However while giving out the judgement on the matter, the world court fell short of calling for a ceasefire in the conflict-stricken nation. According to The Times of Israel, the decision on the matter was made in a 15-2 verdict that believes that there is “plausibility” to South Africa's claims that Palestinian civilians residing in Gaza need protection from Genocide. Shortly after the judgement was released, the Israeli Prime Minister slammed the court and called the charges hurled against Israel “outrageous”. 

While the court urged the Israeli authorities to incorporate “preventive measures”, it did not take the action which was most desired by South Africa i.e. ordering an immediate and unilateral ceasefire. According to The Times of Israel, the court also did not use the term “desist' in its judgement as that would have indicated that the institution believed that genocide was ”actively" taking place in the coastal enclave. During the Friday hearing, the court repeated multiple times that while there is some plausibility to South Africa's claims, it insisted that the decision was determined on the merits of South Africa’s allegations of genocide. Shortly after the judgement was announced, the Israeli Prime Minister slammed South Africa for denying Israel the right to defend itself. 

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Netanyahu slams South Africa 

In a statement following the judgement, the Israeli premier mentioned that the charges levelled against Israel were outrageous. "The charge of genocide levelled against Israel is not only false, it's outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it," the Israeli PM said in response to the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) decision on South Africa's genocide claim against Israel," the Israeli premier averred. “On the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I again pledge as Prime Minister of Israel - Never Again. Israel will continue to defend itself against Hamas, a genocidal terror organization,” he added.

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Netanyahu insisted that the international court “justly” rejected the allegations which goes against Israel's inherent “right to defend itself”. “Like every country, Israel has an inherent right to defend itself. The vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state, and it was justly rejected,” the Israeli premier averred. “On October 7, Hamas perpetrated the most horrific atrocities against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and it vows to repeat these atrocities again and again and again. We will continue to facilitate humanitarian assistance, and to do our utmost to keep civilians out of harm's way, even as Hamas uses civilians as human shields,” he added. Apart from this, the International court also ordered the Israeli side to report back to court in one month. 

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Published January 27th, 2024 at 10:01 IST