The World Court ordered Israel on Friday to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians and that they must do more to help civilians. Although, it stopped short of ordering a ceasefire as requested by South Africa.
In multiple decisions, the court ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide, punish acts of incitement, take steps to improve the humanitarian situation and report back to the court on its progress in a month.
The ruling found that Palestinians were protected under the convention, and there is merit about whether their rights were being denied in a war that the court said was causing grievous humanitarian harm. It also called for Hamas to release hostages captured in the Oct. 7 attack.
The court ruled that Israel must allow humanitarian aid into the region.
An issue with the ruling is the fact that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) does not have a mechanism to enforce the ruling on Israel.
South Africa had brought the claim before the ICJ earlier this month, calling the treatment of Palestinians at the hands of Israelis as a genocide as more than 26,000 Palestinians had been killed and millions had been displaced. South Africa wanted the ICJ and the international community to step in and enforce a ceasefire in Gaza.
The courts did not rule on whether Israeli’s treatment of Palestinians qualified as genocide, and it will likely not rule for multiple years on that claim.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the court had “justly rejected the outrageous demand” to deprive Israel of the “basic right to defend itself,” by ordering a ceasefire between the two.
“But the mere claim that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians is not only false, it’s outrageous, and the willingness of the court to even discuss this is a disgrace that will not be erased for generations.”
Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir mocked the ruling on social media with a post saying, “Hague shmague”.
Palestinian officials largely hailed the decision. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it was a welcome reminder that “no state is above the law”.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on X, “We welcome the decision of the International Court of Justice and call on the parties to implement the interim measures it has decreed,”
Micheal Martin, Tánaiste of Ireland, said in a statement Friday, “I strongly welcome the Court’s orders which are final and binding. These are measures that Ireland has been consistently calling for from the start of this conflict.”
“Orders of the International Court of Justice are binding on the parties and they must comply with them,” the European Commission said in a statement. “The European Union expects their full, immediate and effective implementation,”