The Hague: The United Nations’ top international court has asked Israel to prevent a genocide in Gaza and punish those who are inciting such activities.
“The state of Israel shall…. take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of the Genocide convention,” the court said, reported Reuters.
The court, however, stopped short of ordering a ceasefire, which was the primary request of the litigant, South Africa.
More 26000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. The conflict started in response to Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, killing 1200 people, including women and children.
The court today said Israel must take measures to prevent its soldiers from carrying out genocide against the Palestinians. The court said it would not throw out South Africa’s genocide case against Israel.
Israel has called South Africa’s allegations false and “grossly distorted”, and said it makes the utmost efforts to avoid civilian casualties.
Also read: Over 26,000 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7
“The court is acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy that is unfolding in the region and is deeply concerned about the continuing loss of life and human suffering,” Joan E. Donoghue, the court’s president, said.
South Africa had asked the court to ask Israel to “immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza.”
The court, however, declined the country’s plea. It rules that Israel must try to limit death and damage to property.
South Africa also asked for Israel to take “reasonable measures” to prevent genocide and allow access for desperately needed aid.
The court ruled that Israel must try to limit death and damage.
In a statement Thursday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said he hoped the decision would “include immediate action to stop the aggression and genocide against our people in the Gaza Strip … and a rapid flow of relief aid to save the hungry, wounded and sick from the threat of slow death that threatens them.”
On Thursday, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy had said that Israel expected the court to toss out the “spurious and specious charges.”
With inputs from AP, Reuters