International Court of Justice orders Israel to open more land crossings for aid into Gaza

AP , Thursday 28 Mar 2024

The top United Nations court on Thursday ordered Israel to take measures including opening more land crossings to allow food, water, fuel, and other supplies into Gaza to tackle crippling shortages in Gaza.

ICJ
File Photo: Presiding judge Joan Donoghue, right, opens the session at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands. 2024.AP

 

The International Court of Justice issued two new so-called provisional measures in a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of acts of genocide in its military campaign launched after Oct. 7.

Thursday’s order came after South Africa sought more provisional measures, including a ceasefire, citing starvation in Gaza. Israel urged the court not to issue new orders.

In its legally binding order, the court told Israel to take “all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full co-operation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance” including food, water, fuel, and medical supplies.

It also ordered Israel to immediately ensure “that its military does not commit acts which constitute a violation of any of the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza as a protected group under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, including by preventing, through any action, the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance.”

The court told Israel to report back in a month on its implementation of the orders.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry had no immediate comment on the order.

In a written response earlier this month to South Africa's request for more measures, Israel said that claims by South Africa in its request were “wholly unfounded in fact and law, morally repugnant, and represent an abuse both of the Genocide Convention and of the Court itself.”

The court said in its order that “Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine, as noted in the Order of 26 January 2024, but that famine is setting in, with at least 31 people, including 27 children, having already died of malnutrition and dehydration according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.”

The world court said that earlier orders imposed on Israel after landmark hearings in South Africa’s case, “do not fully address the consequences arising from the changes in the situation” in Gaza.

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