UN court does not order end to Israeli military operation in Gaza

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has recognised a risk of genocide in the Gaza Strip. However, in a ruling on Friday did not oblige Israel to end its military operation there.

The highest court of the United Nations instructed Israel to take more measures to protect Palestinians in order to prevent genocide in a preliminary decision in the genocide proceedings brought before the court by South Africa.

The ruling was a clear signal from the judges, who saw the danger that the UN Genocide Convention could be violated.

Israel had rejected South Africa’s accusations as unfounded and invoked the right to self-defence following the devastating massacre by the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement and other terrorist groups on October 7.

The judges thus only partially granted an urgent appeal by South Africa, which had demanded an immediate cessation of military action. However, Israel must now take protective measures and also allow humanitarian aid.

Israel must also do everything in its power to prevent and punish incitement to genocide, the court ruled.

South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel at the end of December. The court has not yet made a final decision on the main accusation of genocide.

Decisions of the UN court are binding, but the judges have no means of enforcing them. It is unclear whether Israel will abide by this ruling.

It is not known when the trial on the main accusation of genocide will begin. Such proceedings can drag on for years.

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