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ICJ orders Israel to take Gaza measures
(Pic: International Court of Justice)

26 Jan 2024 / global news Print

ICJ orders Israel to take Gaza measures

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has asked his officials to prepare legal advice “on an urgent basis” on the interim order made by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the United Nations’ highest court.

The court concluded today (26 January) that it had the jurisdiction to hear South Africa’s case against Israel over allegations of genocide in Gaza under article 4 of the UN convention on genocide.

The court rejected a request from Israel to throw out the case.

“As agreed by the Dáil earlier this week, the Government will strongly consider intervention in the case, following detailed analysis of the court’s decision today,” the Tánaiste said.

The court also told Israel to take “all measures within its powers” to prevent the commission of actions that fall within the scope of the convention.

Israel must also submit a report to the court within one month on the actions it has taken in relation to the order.

Humanitarian access

The actions ordered by the court include Israel taking all measures to prevent the killing of, or causing of harm to, Palestinians, and to ensure the provision of basic humanitarian access.

It has not, however, ordered a halt to all Israeli military operations in Gaza.

The court has also told Israel to prevent any destruction of evidence that may be needed for the case, and ordered it to prevent, and punish those involved with, the incitement of genocide against Palestinians.

‘Plausible rights’

The ICJ stressed that it could not make definitive findings of fact at the moment, but it said that the evidence was sufficient to suggest that the rights cited by South Africa in its case were “plausible”, and that the Palestinians were a ‘protected group’ under the convention.

In a statement, the Tánaiste welcomed the court’s orders, which he said were “final and binding”.

“These are measures that Ireland has been consistently calling for from the start of this conflict,” he stated, adding that Ireland expected Israel to implement all the provisional measures ordered “in good faith and as a matter of urgency”.

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