The top UN court has ruled on Gaza genocide case. Here's what happens now

The top UN court has ruled on Gaza genocide case. Here's what happens now

The listening to of Israel’s protection on the International Court of Justice on Jan. 12, 2024, within the Hague, Netherlands.

Dursun Aydemir | Anadolu | Getty Images

Last month, the International Court of Justice ruled on South Africa’s authorized case accusing Israel of genocide. 

Legal proceedings started after the African nation submitted trigger for emergency measures in Gaza, resulting in a two-day listening to, with testimonies from the South African and Israeli authorized groups. 

The court issued its interim ruling on Jan. 26 with six legally binding provisions, together with these ordering the Israeli military to: stop acts that could be thought-about genocide within the besieged enclave; permit humanitarian help into the strip; punish incitement to genocide; submit month-to-month stories; and take measures to guard Palestinians. 

CNBC takes a take a look at what the subsequent steps may very well be, and the way we obtained right here.

What’s subsequent?

In the ICJ’s order final month, it didn’t grant South Africa’s foremost request, which was to order Israel to droop navy airstrikes in Gaza and to name for a everlasting cease-fire. 

Israel rebuffed the allegations of genocide on the World Court and accused South Africa of getting used as a authorized cowl for Hamas. 

After the ruling, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the choice and stated Israel will proceed to defend itself and its residents in opposition to Hamas whereas adhering to worldwide regulation. Israeli officers didn’t reply to a CNBC request for remark. 

Cases underneath the Genocide Convention on the court have stretched for years — equivalent to with Serbia — which took greater than 10 years to achieve a closing choice.  

Cases referring to genocidal intent are among the many most tough to win — proof should present that the perpetrators have a premeditated intent to destroy a nationwide, ethnic, racial or non secular group. 

The ICJ has ordered Israel to submit a report this month describing the way it’s complying with the court’s orders and to maintain proof of any acts of genocide. 

Last week, Yoav Gallant, Israel’s protection minister, stated Israel won’t stop airstrikes on Gaza anytime quickly. Gallant, who has known as Palestinians “human animals,” was one in all three officers whose previous statements the South African authorized staff’s protection used.

Francesca Albanese, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the scenario of human rights within the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, advised CNBC final week that she is “not snug in realizing nothing of historical past.”

“Therefore I do know with absolute certainty that in 100 years, Palestinians have steadily been denied all of the the three issues: justice, human rights, and freedom.”

Albanese stated that whatever the end result, the case is a vital contribution to mounting worldwide strain to finish the battle and is of symbolic significance, including that the allegations of genocide on the ICJ aren’t with out advantage.

Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, advised CNBC that the nation expects to maintain pushing the case at a excessive stage. 

“We are working collectively to make sure that the case is profitable for the sake of peace within the area and for the sake of many harmless individuals, girls, and kids, younger and previous who’re affected by Israel’s a long time of occupation and genocide,” he stated. 

How did we get right here?

South Africa started proceedings in opposition to Israel in December earlier than the International Court of Justice underneath the “Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide within the Gaza Strip.” 

“As a nation that fought and defeated apartheid, now we have a specific obligation to face up for justice and elementary human rights for all individuals in every single place,” Magwenya advised CNBC Sunday.  

South Africa’s authorized protection was heard on Jan. 11, and Israel’s on the next day at The Hague within the Netherlands.

“It is that this obligation that knowledgeable our software to the International Court of Justice to halt the violence unleashed by Israel on the Gaza Strip,” Magwenya added. 

Magwenya stated that as a signatory to the 1948 Genocide Convention, the nation carries a duty to forestall acts of genocide, wherever they happen. He added their very own previous “demonstrates South Africa’s lengthy historical past of unwavering solidarity with Palestinians.”

Other international locations that publicly supported South Africa’s case include Turkey, Jordan, Brazil, Colombia and Malaysia. 

That comes as Israeli forces proceed a navy marketing campaign within the Gaza Strip that has to date claimed greater than 27,000 lives, in accordance with the Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry.

The court additionally stated it was “gravely involved” in regards to the welfare of the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Palestinian militant group Hamas throughout its Oct. 7 terror assaults, of which greater than 120 remained in captivity as of Thursday. The world court known as for the fast launch of these hostages nonetheless in captivity.


Though the ICJ can issue demands on the international locations it has accomplished prior to now, it doesn’t have the jurisdiction to implement them or the rulings on disputes between states.

On Feb. 26, 2022, two days after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian authorities lodged a case with the World Court underneath the 1948 Genocide Convention and requested that it order Russia to halt navy operations.

The following month, the ICJ issued a fast-tracked choice that demanded Russia stop navy operations on its neighbor. Back in 2015, after an preliminary software was submitted in 1999, the court acquitted Serbia of committing genocide in opposition to Bosnian Muslims in the course of the Nineteen Nineties Bosnian battle in its closing judgment and rejected Bosnia and Croatia’s request for reparations.

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