Preliminary ruling stipulates that Israel provide humanitarian assistance and prevent incitement to violence against Palestinians
Today (26), the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a preliminary ruling in relation to South Africa’s accusation that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian population. The Court did not order a ceasefire and only ruled that Israel should take all appropriate measures to “prevent genocide” in the Gaza Strip.
In its ruling, the ICJ also called for the immediate and unconditional release of the remaining 136 hostages held by Hamas since October 7. “Hamas said it would comply with the court’s decision, so now it has to release the hostages immediately,” points out André Lajst, CEO of StandWithUs Brazil.
In addition, the Court established that Israel must take immediate and effective measures to increase humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip and the provision of basic services, as well as prevent and punish incitement to violence and genocide of Palestinians in speeches by Israeli politicians. Within a month, Israel will have to submit a report to the court on what it is doing to comply with the order.
Lajst, a political scientist specializing in the Middle East, considers it positive that the ICJ has ordered the release of the hostages and rejected the South African government’s demand to order a ceasefire, which would end up keeping Hamas in power in Gaza. “However, there is a worrying possibility that Hamas will not keep its promise and will not actually release the hostages. Furthermore, the court’s decision to accept other parts of this lame and completely false indictment, whose evidence, presented by South Africa, has been decontextualized and distorted, used to defame Israel and undermine its right to defend itself against Hamas, is disappointing. Israel is acting in accordance with international law, as it is waging a war of self-defense against Hamas, an anti-Semitic terrorist group with explicitly genocidal aims,” the expert points out.
“We can show solidarity with the Palestinians and the Israelis without false accusations. Israel is fighting to defend itself against a terrorist group that is holding its civilians hostage, just as any other country that has suffered a tragedy of this magnitude would do, and is not deliberately eliminating the Palestinian civilian population, which is used as a human shield by Hamas,” Lajst concludes.
OFFICIAL NOTE FROM STANDWITHUS BRAZIL ON THE PRELIMINARY RULING OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE ON THE COMPLAINT OF GENOCIDE IN THE GAZA STRIP FILED BY SOUTH AFRICA AGAINST ISRAEL
StandWithUs offices around the world issued a joint statement on the issue.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has rejected the South African government’s demand to order an immediate “ceasefire” in the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. If accepted, this measure would allow the terrorist group to remain in power in Gaza, continuing to oppress its own people and rearming for the next massacre of Israeli civilians.
In its decision, the ICJ ordered the immediate and unconditional release of the 136 people still held captive by Hamas, out of more than 200 who were kidnapped. Now, the world will be able to see whether the terrorist group respects the international court and immediately releases all the hostages or continues, as it has until now, to commit crimes against humanity.
It should be noted that the ICJ has not ruled on South Africa’s main and unfounded allegation that Israel is committing “genocide” in the ongoing war, which Hamas started on October 7. A decision on this matter, if it comes, could take years.
In its ruling on the precautionary measures, the Court ordered the State of Israel to take all measures “in its power” to protect the lives of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and to prevent any intentional action that would be contrary to the international law invoked by South Africa. Something that, in fact, Israel has already been doing since the beginning of the war. It also ordered Israel to take measures to prevent and punish public statements by extremist members of the current government that could constitute incitement to commit crimes against Palestinians, recognizing the measures that the competent bodies of the State of Israel have already announced, even if it did not consider them sufficient. Finally, it ordered Israel to take measures to guarantee the arrival of more humanitarian aid to Gaza, increasing that which is already entering on a daily basis in order to prevent irreparable damage to the living conditions of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, something that does not depend solely on Israel, but has also been done since the war began.
Although the Court’s majority opinion was based almost exclusively on statements made by UN officials, including UNRWA leaders (whose anti-Israel bias has been known and proven for years), the decision did not meet the main demands of the South African government.
South Africa’s decision to take Israel to the ICJ was politically motivated and lacked legal merit. The South African government has allied itself with the Hamas terrorists responsible for the October 7 massacre. Among the proofs of this is a recent article published in the Jerusalem Post, which revealed a “network of South African organizations and front companies deeply involved in financing Hamas activities through the Al-Quds Foundation, an international group sanctioned by the US and Israel, using accounts registered with South Africa’s main local banks: Standard Bank, Nedbank and Absa.” In addition, following the October 7 atrocities, a high-level delegation of Hamas officials visited South Africa for a global “solidarity” meeting held from December 3 to 5, 2023.
The evidence presented by South Africa to the court is misleading and out of context. Its case was based on inflammatory statements taken out of context, false allegations and distorted representations of Israel’s actions. The Jewish state has acted from day one in accordance with international law and is waging a war of self-defense against an anti-Semitic terrorist group with explicitly genocidal aims.
Hamas started this war when it invaded southern Israel on October 7, 2023. Its death squads attacked 22 Israeli towns and villages, murdered 1,200 Israelis and other foreigners, committed mass rape against dozens of Israeli women, burned entire families alive in their own homes, paraded the naked bodies of women in the streets of Gaza and kidnapped more than 250 people, including children, women and the elderly, most of whom are still being held hostage in Gaza. Their leaders have vowed to repeat these atrocities again and again until Israel is destroyed.
StandWithUs calls on the international community to stop demonizing Israel in forums such as the ICJ. For the sake of Israelis, Palestinians and all humanity, the world must unite to pressure Hamas to release the hostages, surrender and end this war.
*** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI Team ***