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Clear signal from ICJ in Gaza conflict

While the interim ruling passed down by the International Court of Justice did not order a ceasefire, it did state that Israel must take all measures to prevent further victims and genocidal acts in Gaza. South Africa brought the case as it alleges that the war in Gaza constitutes a violation of the Genocide Convention.

The interim ruling also requires Israel to report within a month on how it intends to address the issue. Genocide expert and Professor of International Law Larissa van den Herik calls this a ‘clear signal from the court’. The main point in the ruling is that ‘Israel has to take effective measures immediately to alleviate the plight of the Palestinians. Israel must also prevent incitement to commit genocide. If it does happen, it has to be punished,’ says Van den Herik, in Dutch news programme RTL News and on the NOS news website.

Professor Van den Herik had not expected a ceasefire to be ordered, as requested by South Africa. ‘The court can only impose measures on states, while the conflict in Gaza is between Israel and Hamas. If Israel were ordered to stop fighting, Hamas could simply continue.’

Van den Herik added that the ruling has international implications for third states such as the Netherlands. Take the supply of weapons components, for example. The countries that supply them should now consider what the ICJ's ruling means for them.

More information

Listen to the RTL Nieuws broadcast (in Dutch)

Read the full NOS article (in Dutch)

Photo by John Cameron through Unsplash

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