ICJ to rule on South Africa’s request for interim measures in Israel genocide case

Protesters wave flags and banners outside the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 12, 2024.
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The International Court of Justice is set to issue a decision on Friday regarding South Africa’s plea for interim orders, including a request for Israel to cease its offensive in Gaza.

This marks a preliminary stage in the genocide case filed by South Africa, alleging that Israel’s military actions in its conflict with Hamas amount to genocide. Israel vehemently denies the accusation, urging the court to dismiss the case.

The court’s announcement of the timing of the interim ruling comes after Israel’s substantial air and ground assault on Gaza following Hamas militants’ incursion into Israeli communities on Oct. 7, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties, primarily civilians.

Notably, Israel, often critical of international tribunals and U.N. investigations, sent a high-level legal team to recent hearings, indicating the seriousness with which it views the case. 

The potential impact on Israel’s international standing raises concerns about compliance if the court grants South Africa’s requests for provisional measures. 

The outcome of the ruling and its implications for the ongoing conflict in Gaza remain uncertain.

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