U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz at the White House on Monday as Washington seeks to reach a deal for a temporary ceasefire and increase the flow of aid to Gaza.
Israel's deputy Attorney-General for International Law Gilad Noam and British jurist Malcolm Shaw stand on the day the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rule on emergency measures against Israel following accusations by South Africa that the Israeli military operation in Gaza is a state-led genocide, in The Hague, January 26, 2024. Reuters/Piroschka van de Wouw
The World Court ordered Israel on Friday to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians and do more to help civilians, although it stopped short of ordering a ceasefire as requested by South Africa.
South Africa brought the case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) earlier this month, asking it to grant emergency measures to halt the fighting, which has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians.
It accused Israel of state-led genocide in its offensive, begun after Hamas militants stormed into Israel killing 1,200 and kidnapping more than 240. Israel sought to have the case thrown out.
In Friday's ruling, the judges said Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide, punish and must take steps to improve the humanitarian situation.
While the ICJ did not order a ceasefire, it said it would not throw out the genocide case, ruling that the Palestinians appeared to be a protected group under the 1948 Genocide Convention. It did not decide the merits of the genocide allegations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement soon after a ruling in the International Court of Justice that the charge leveled against Israel were not only false, but outrageous.
"Israel's commitment to international law is unwavering. Equally unwavering is our sacred commitment to continue to defend our country and defend our people," Netanyahu said. "The vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state, and it was justly rejected."
It is regrettable that South Africa did not exert the same energy to condemn the massacres in Sudan, which have claimed 20,000 lives since April 2023.
Pretoria's strategy is twofold, driven by both internal factors with upcoming general elections and external ambitions to assume leadership among Global South nations.
By Stephanie van den Berg and Anthony Deutsch
Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences.