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What is the significance of ICJ ruling on Israel’s war in Gaza?

January 26, 2024
The International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) ruling on Friday in South Africa’s case against Israel could have significant effects on the Gaza war as well as US policy concerning the conflict. Experts who spoke to Al-Monitor argued that the ruling “stains” Israel’s record, without, however, ordering the war to a halt or issuing a definitive verdict on the genocide accusation.
South Africa brought a case to the United Nations’ top court in late December, arguing that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. The court heard arguments from both countries at the Hague earlier this month.
On Friday, the ICJ made a number of rulings pertaining to the case. The court said Israel must “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission” of forbidden acts under the Genocide Convention. These acts include “killing members of the group,” referring to the Palestinians, and “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction,” according to the order published by the court.
The court added that “Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide.” This order is in reference to statements made by some Israeli politicians, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. As noted in the order, Gallant said on Oct. 9, “I have released all restraints” in regard to the fight against Hamas, among other things.

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