Gaza: World court issues fresh measures for Israel as crisis deepens

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The world court issued the new order in response to a recent request made by South Africa, which submitted a case in December accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza, based on its continuing offensive following Hamas-led attacks in southern Israel which left almost 1,200 dead and more than 240 taken hostage. 

Since then, more than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes and attacks, according to figures from Gaza’s health ministry.

Israel to ensure aid deliveries

The ICJ provisional measures state that Israel, “in view of the worsening conditions of life faced by Palestinians in Gaza, in particular the spread of famine and starvation”, shall take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians throughout Gaza”.

The measures outline that the required aid includes food, water, electricity, fuel, shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation requirements, as well as medical supplies and medical care.

Orders to open more land crossings

The fresh ICJ order also calls on Israel, as a signatory to the Genocide Convention, to undertake those measures, “including by increasing the capacity and number of land crossing points and maintaining them open for as long as necessary”.

Additional measures call for Israel to ensure “with immediate effect that its military does not commit acts which constitute a violation of any of the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza as a protected group” under the Genocide Convention.

This includes “by preventing, through any action, the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance”, according to the ICJ.

The court also decided that Israel shall submit a report to the ICJ on all measures within one month.

UN: All Member States must abide by ICJ decisions

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric reminded journalists at his daily briefing that the ICJ operates independently.

“We do believe as a matter of principle that all Member States abide by decisions of the court,” he said.

The ICJ was established by the UN Charter as the principal judicial organ of the UN.

Read our explainer on the ICJ here.



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