The United Nations' highest court has declined to dismiss the case against Israel for genocide, but has not gone as far as to mandate a cease-fire in Gaza.

The United Nations’ highest court has declined to dismiss the case against Israel for genocide, but has not gone as far as to mandate a cease-fire in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice, under the United Nations, made an interim decision on Friday stating that Israel must take action to prevent genocide in Gaza. However, a direct order for an immediate cease-fire was not given. has been ongoing since 2007, resulting in numerous casualties and destruction.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has been ongoing since 2007, causing many injuries and damage.

The International Court of Justice has declared that it possesses the authority to examine the significant dispute initiated by South Africa towards Israel. Israel’s plea for the dismissal of the case was denied by the court.

According to South Africa, Israel’s actions and inactions during its military campaign in Gaza can be considered genocide as they are carried out with the intention of destroying a significant portion of the Palestinian people based on their nationality, race, and ethnicity.

On Friday, at The Hague in the Netherlands, the president of the court, Joan E. Donoghue, stated that after reviewing Israel’s actions and statements from its leaders, the court has decided not to grant Israel’s request to dismiss the case. This is due to the presence of credible allegations of potential genocidal actions. The ICJ did not demand an immediate stop to the conflict but did mandate Israel to implement provisional measures.

How laws of war apply to fighting between Israel and Hamas


The court ruled that Israel is responsible for preventing and penalizing any public instigation of genocide against members of the Palestinian group in Gaza. They must also promptly and effectively provide basic services and humanitarian aid to improve the difficult conditions faced by Palestinians in Gaza.

Ultimately, the court mandated that Israel must provide a report within a month detailing the actions taken to comply with the court’s order.

In December, South Africa brought a case to the International Court of Justice requesting an immediate suspension of Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the highest court of the United Nations and its decisions must be followed, but it lacks authority to implement them.

Israel strongly denies the claim of genocide and asserts that its actions are justified as self-defense. The country has accused South Africa of audacity in bringing the case, which it has deemed as a groundless defense of Hamas. In recent weeks, Israel has requested for the case to be dismissed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Friday that Israel remains steadfast in its adherence to international law. He also emphasized their commitment to protect their country and their citizens. In regards to the interim ruling, Netanyahu denounced the accusation of genocide against Israel as false and unacceptable, urging decent individuals to reject it. He clarified that their fight is against Hamas terrorists and not against innocent Palestinian civilians. Despite this, Israel will continue to provide humanitarian aid and take necessary measures to minimize harm to civilians, despite Hamas using them as human shields. The priority remains to defend their nation and their people.

According to the Reuters news agency, the foreign minister for the Palestinian Authority, Riyad Al-Maliki, stated that the judges from ICJ reviewed the facts and laws and ultimately sided with humanity and international law in their decision.

The interim ruling will require a temporary halt in the conflict in Gaza, according to Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s minister of international relations.

Pandor stated outside the court that it is impossible to give assistance and water without a ceasefire. According to the order, a ceasefire is required.

On October 7th, Hamas carried out an attack on Israel that resulted in the death of 1,200 individuals and the abduction of approximately 240 others. In response, Israel launched a counter-attack on the group in Gaza with the intention of eliminating them. The Ministry of Health in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, reports that over 26,000 people, primarily women and children, have been killed in this offensive. Hamas has been considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S., and the European Union for many years and has been in control of Gaza since the 1990s.

South Africa has brought a case to the court, accusing Israel of causing harm to Palestinians in Gaza through killings, as well as inflicting conditions of life that could lead to their physical destruction. They also accuse Israel of violating their obligations under the Genocide Convention, specifically by not stopping or punishing the incitement to genocide from high-ranking Israeli individuals and others.

killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the destruction of the group, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The Genocide Convention was adopted by the United Nations in 1948 following the events of the Holocaust. The term “genocide” is defined in the convention as a series of actions carried out with the intention of destroying a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group in whole or in part. These actions include killing members of the group, causing severe physical or mental harm, deliberately imposing living conditions that could lead to the destruction of the group, and forcefully transferring children from the group to another.

  • Eliminating individuals within the group.

  • or forcing

    Inflicting severe physical or psychological injury upon individuals within the group or compelling them

  • Intentionally causing the group to experience circumstances that are intended to result in its complete or partial physical annihilation.

  • Implementing actions to inhibit group population growth.

  • Forcing the relocation of children from one group to another.

The Israeli government and military have implemented various strategies to prevent harm to civilians in Gaza. These include dispersing flyers to warn of impending attacks, contacting civilians via phone to advise them to evacuate targeted buildings, and canceling certain strikes if civilians are at risk.

Earlier this month, Israeli foreign ministry legal adviser Tal Becker stated that the severe suffering experienced by both Israeli and Palestinian civilians is primarily caused by Hamas’ tactics. He also claimed that if any acts of genocide have occurred, they have been directed towards Israel. According to Becker, Hamas’ ultimate goal is to eliminate Israel.

2014 Ukraine vs. Russia.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is a legal tribunal that primarily handles conflicts between United Nations member nations. While its judgements are legally binding, the lack of enforcement mechanisms allows countries to disregard them, as seen in the 2014 dispute between Ukraine and Russia. has led to widespread condemnation and economic sanctions from the international community.

The international community has strongly criticized and imposed economic sanctions due to Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine..

In the year 2022, the International Court of Justice decreed that Russia is obligated to cease all military activities initiated on February 24, 2022 in Ukraine’s territory. This ruling came after the Ukrainian government filed a case accusing Russia’s military of engaging in genocide. The conflict in Ukraine continues.

This report was contributed to by Michal Ben-Gal in Tel Aviv, Anhelina Shamlii in London, and Pamela Falk at the United Nations.