Several actors believe that Israel is not complying with the International Court of Justice's order to protect the Palestinian population. At the same time, the court relies on the willingness of states to comply with the decisions. Photo: Saleh Najm and Anas Sharif. Source: Wikimedia commons.

Development magazine explains

International court decision against Israel: "Has been ignored"

Earlier this year accused South Africa Israel for genocide in the UN's highest court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The court has decided that Israel must do everything in its power to protect the Palestinian population. Men The ICJ relies on states' willingness to comply with decisions, and many civil society organizations believe that Israel has not lived up to this.  

On December 29, South Africa reported Israel for genocide in Gaza. In January, both parties had the chance to present their arguments before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. In his 84 pages filing with the ICJ, South Africa pointed out that tens of thousands of Palestinians have died in Israel's attacks. Among other things, the bombings have hit homes, schools and hospitals where civilians have gone to receive treatment. South Africa asked the ICJ to grant so-called provisional measures, that is, Israel would cease its military attacks on Gaza while the court decided the dispute.

In contrast, Israel argued for its right to self-defense after Hamas killed hundreds of people and took Israelis hostage in the October 7 terror attack. Israel's legal representation also argued that Hamas used civilians as human shields in the terrorist act and that Israel's actions have been aimed at protecting civilians and minimizing casualties.

"I think the court's decision has been ignored"

On January 26, the court approved six of South Africa's eight provisional measures. The ICJ ordered that Israel do everything in its power to protect the Palestinian population to prevent genocide, but that did not mean a complete cessation of hostilities. The decision meant, among other things, that Israel must ensure that humanitarian aid reaches the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. However, this has led to frustration among civil society organizations, as it is considered that Israel has not complied with the provisional measures, as less humanitarian aid in the form of food and hygiene items have reached civilians compared to before the ICJ decision. Between January 26 and February 24, 3 Palestinians were also killed in Israeli attacks, reports Al Jazeera, and believes that it is a sign that Israel is ignoring the ICJ's decision.

- I think the court's decision has been ignored, says South Africa's foreign minister, Naledi Pandor, on one press conference.

On the other hand accuse officials from Israel Hamas for delaying UN deliveries of humanitarian aid.

The Court relies on the will of states

The ICJ has long been called for the world's highest court, but in practice the court lacks executive power. According to the UN Charter, which regulates the tasks and powers of the UN, decisions taken by the 15 judges in The Hague are binding on all UN member states. However, since the ICJ cannot issue sanctions or use force, the court relies on the willingness of states to comply with the decisions.

An example on when countries have ignored ICJ rulings was in 2022, when the court issued a ruling requiring Russia to immediately end its military operations against Ukraine. Russia has not followed the decision and continues with its offensive military strategy.

It remains to be seen how the situation will develop and whether Israel will respect the ICJ's decision in the future.  

Share this: