The International Court of Justice (ICJ), in its recent directive issued on Friday, has mandated Israel to undertake all conceivable measures within its power to prevent acts of genocide during its ongoing military operations against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
The court has placed a significant emphasis on the necessity for Israel to ensure that its forces abstain from engaging in genocidal acts, further urging the country to implement measures aimed at ameliorating the humanitarian conditions for Palestinians residing in the Gaza enclave.
At least 26,422 people have been killed and 65,087 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7 reports said. The Gaza Strip is 140 sq miles of land located along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It also shares a border with Egypt to the south.
It is noteworthy that, while the ICJ refrained from making a conclusive ruling on the central issue presented by South Africa—namely, whether genocide has indeed occurred in Gaza—it did acknowledge the fundamental right of Palestinians in the region to be safeguarded from acts of genocide. The case initiated by South Africa did not result in an immediate cessation of Israel’s military operation, as the court did not grant such a request.
In response to the allegations and legal proceedings, Israel vehemently asserted its commitment to respecting international law and underscored its inherent right to defend itself against security threats. South Africa, during the legal proceedings two weeks ago, contended that Israel’s aerial and ground offensive was explicitly geared towards effecting “the destruction of the population” in Gaza.
Further details on this matter are expected to emerge in subsequent developments and court proceedings.