Israel to Fight on Despite Warning
28 January 2024, Courier-Mail / AFP, by Justin Vallejo – Adella Beaini
Israel has vowed to fight until it achieves “total victory” against Hamas, after the International Court of Justice did not call for a ceasefire in Gaza despite finding a “plausible” risk of genocide in the enclave.
Neither side backed down after the UN court in The Hague ordered Israel to take measures to prevent potential acts of genocide in Gaza, while stopping short of demanding an immediate end to the four-month war.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the UN court’s statement as “outrageous” and said he would continue the “just war” against Hamas, despite widespread criticism over the country’s relentless bombing of civilians.
South Africa had brought the case, accusing Israel of breaching the 1948 UN Genocide Convention that was set up in the ashes of World War II and the Holocaust.
“At this stage, South Africa does not need to prove that Israel is committing genocide,” Juliette McIntyre, a lecturer in international law at the University of South Australia, said.
“They simply need to establish that there is a plausible risk of genocide occurring.”
The court ruling against Israel means “there is a plausible risk of genocide, not that there is genocide”, she said.
While not achieving its major objective of an immediate ceasefire, South Africa, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas welcomed the ruling as a “decisive victory” in alienating Israel from the world.
“The (International) Court of Justice’s decision is an important development which contributes to isolating Israel and exposing its crimes in Gaza,” Hamas said.
Israel must report to the court within a month on how it is upholding the order to prevent acts of genocide.
While the ruling is legally binding, the court has no enforcement mechanism. Russia, for example, has been ordered to end its war in Ukraine.
The 15-2 ruling, which also ordered Israel to “prevent and punish” incitement to genocide, did not consider whether Israelis were committing genocide, which is a process that can take several years.
South Africa had accused Israel of “genocidal” acts and urged the court to order Israel to “immediately suspend” its military operations in Gaza.
South Africa’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the ICJ’s decision “is a momentous one”.
“This imposes an obligation on all states to cease funding and facilitating Israel’s military actions, which are plausibly genocidal,” the statement says.
At least 26,083 people have been killed and 64,487 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from the October 7 Hamas attacks stands at 1139.
Germany’s state broadcaster ARD has accused Israel of preventing two of its workers from leaving Gaza, where they fear for their lives. The outlet said it had been pushing for two of its long-term Palestinian workers to be able to leave Gaza for more than two months. Israel has so far refused, citing security concerns.Article link: https://todayspaper.couriermail.com.au/infinity/article_popover_share.aspx?guid=aacd202b-557f-4bdf-8f01-932e80627683&share=true
Article source: Courier-Mail / AFP | Justin Vallejo - Adella Beaini | 28 January 2024