8 points about ICJ ruling; victory for Gaza people

IRAN – It would be the best ever ruling if the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered a cease-fire in Gaza along with preventive actions, anyway, its preliminary ruling was a great victory for Palestine.

The International Court of Justice issued an initial ruling on South Africa’s complaint against the Zionist regime regarding the genocide in Gaza.

One can single out 8 points about the ICJ preliminary ruling:

1. Israel faced its first defeat in court even before the ruling as the court rejected its request to drop South Africa’s lawsuit. In the initial hearing, the ICJ President declared its jurisdiction to handle the complaint and clarified that South Africa has the right to file a complaint against Israel in this court.
The court also stated that South Africa’s reports were reasonable and worthy of taking into account.

2. According to the UN Genocide Convention adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948, any of five acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group is considered genocide. 16 of the 17 ICJ judges believe that Israel must stop the acts of genocide and physical destruction in Gaza.

Although the court stated that “we are not now passing judgment on whether or not genocide occurred,” the existence of genocide was certain to the members of the court.

Moreover, the verdict also states “The Palestinian people have the right to be safe from the crime of genocide.”

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, a legal expert called the decisions of the Hague Court a victory for the Palestinians and emphasized the need to implement more deterrent measures against the Zionist regime to prevent further war crimes in Gaza.

3. The ICJ is the main judicial pillar of the United Nations. The UN General Assembly can be considered a legal pillar as all members have equal votes and there is no veto. The UN Security Council is a political body because the right of veto prevents the administration of justice. The ICJ is a judicial pillar that issues judicial rulings regardless of “politics”. The decisions of the court are binding and it is a kind of trial.

Accordingly, the German government announced that Berlin would respect the decision of the ICJ regarding Israel, regardless of its content. The French Foreign Ministry also stated in a statement” We are deeply committed to respecting international law and we emphasize our support for the ICJ.”

4. The ruling per se is considered a failure for the United Nations Security Council which has not yet issued any resolution to stop Israel’s crime against Gaza.
The United Nations General Assembly has condemned Israel several times for the crime against Gaza, but the resolutions of the assembly are not binding whereas ICJ rulings are binding and it is considered a kind of criticism of the performance of the great powers regarding the situation in Gaza.

5. According to the court ruling, the Zionist regime should take the necessary measures to allow for the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza in a month and also to take the necessary measures to prevent crimes against a group of people.

The continuation of Israel’s crimes against Gaza could have legal consequences for this regime. Although the Zionists claim that they were not defeated because the court did not issue an order to stop the war, the reaction of the Zionist authorities indicates that they accepted the defeat in the court.

6. The ICJ ruling imposes international legal obligations on Israel, but there is no enforcement mechanism for it. Therefore, Israel may refuse to implement the rulying with the support of the United States and several European countries as before it refused to implement Security Council Resolution 2334 which stated that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Quds, has no legal validity.

7. As the initial ruling was issued when the war is still going on and there is no sign of its end, it is considered a kind of innovation and a turning point.

The South African government also responded to the Hague Court’s decision, stating “We welcome the temporary measures imposed by the International Court of Justice against Israel. This ruling is a decisive victory for the rule of law and an important milestone in finding justice for the Palestinian people”.

Sami Abu Zuhri, one of the leaders of the Hamas movement also considered the initial ruling of the Hague Court on the genocide of the Zionist regime in Gaza as an important development to isolate the Zionist regime and expose the crimes of this regime in Gaza.

8. The court’s ruling and its action was a credit to South Africa as the country which was once a victim of the apartheid regime has taken action to end one of the greatest human tragedies in the 21st century by filing a lawsuit against Israel.

It would be the best ICJ ruling if the ICJ ordered a cease-fire in Gaza in addition to preventive actions but in the world order where the Zionist lobby and its supporters the US have lots of influence, the initial ruling of the ICJ can be considered a “great victory” for Palestine, a “strategic defeat” for the Zionist regime and an important turning point for “justice”.

Seyyed Razi Emadi; West Asia expert


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