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U.N Court orders Israel to prevent genocidal acts by its forces in Gaza

The International Court of Justice ordered provisional measures, in South Africa's case that Israel is violating the Genocide Convention. 

The court adopted “provisional measures,” or binding orders, that include requiring Israel to prevent genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza, enable the provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance, and prevent and punish incitement to commit genocide.

Judges overwhelmingly voted in favour of adopting the six provisional measures in South Africa's genocide case against Israel.

1. The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of Article II of this Convention, in particular

(a) killing members of the group;

(b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and (

d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group

2. The State of Israel shall ensure with immediate effect that its military does not commit any acts described in point 1 above

3. The State of Israel shall take all measures within its power to prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to commit genocide in relation to members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip

4. The State of Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip;

5. The State of Israel shall take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II and Article III of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide against members of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip

6. The State of Israel shall submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this Order within one month as from the date of this Order

The ICJ rules that the accusation of genocide against Palestinians is plausible and the court has jurisdiction over the case. Following this the the UN human rights chief has urged Israel to abide by the interim decision taken by the ICJ.

Although orders issued by the ICJ are legally binding, it does not have the power to enforce them. Israel is not expected to commit itself to the orders. A ruling on whether genocide was committed could take years. 

The ruling comes as Israel continues to bomb Gaza, with the civilian death toll now surpassing 26,000. Heavy clashes have been reported near a number of hospitals in Gaza, with power outages impacting Nasser hospital in Kahni Younis, Southern Gaza.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, has said that vital medical services “have collapsed” at Nasser Hospital, the largest functioning health facility in Gaza.

In a statement on Friday, MSF said that there is “no longer a healthcare system in Gaza” and reiterated calls for a ceasefire.

Read more here

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