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There must be 'immediate implementation' of provisional measures in SA-Israel Gaza case: ICJ

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
Palestinians leaving Rafah, in fear of an Israeli military operation, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip on February 13 2024.
Palestinians leaving Rafah, in fear of an Israeli military operation, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip on February 13 2024.
Image: MOHAMMED SALEM/Reuters

The International Court of Justice said on Friday the situation in the Gaza Strip demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the court in its order made last month in the case brought by South Africa against Israel.

It said there was no need for additional provisional measures to be ordered by the court. 

In January, the court made a series of interim orders against Israel after an application by South Africa seeking a number of provisional measures from the court, including that Israel “immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza”.   

One of the interim orders granted was that Israel take measures “to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and to prevent inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the destruction of Palestinians in Gaza as a group”. 

On Monday, South Africa wrote to the court urgently asking for “additional measures” in the face of Israel’s recent announcement that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked his cabinet to approve a plan for the evacuation of Rafah and the destruction of Hamas battalions there. 

About half of Gaza’s population — about 1.4-million people — are reportedly currently in Rafah, many sheltering there after fleeing from their homes in other parts of Gaza on Israel’s own evacuation orders. 

The court said on Friday it has considered the letter by South Africa and Israel’s observations it received on Thursday. 

The court, in its decision communicated to both parties on Friday, said it noted that the most recent developments in the Gaza Strip, and in Rafah in particular, “would exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare with untold regional consequences”, as stated by the UN secretary-general last week. 

“This perilous situation demands immediate and effective implementation of the provisional measures indicated by the court in its order of January 26, which are applicable throughout the Gaza Strip, including in Rafah, and does not demand the indication of additional provisional measures,” the court ruled. 

It said Israel remained bound to fully comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention and with the January order, including by ensuring the safety and security of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

TimesLIVE 


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