The UN’s top court has ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza, but stopped short of telling it to halt the war.
The highly anticipated hearing was part of a controversial case brought by South Africa.
South Africa had asked the court to order Israel to stop military action straight away pending a decision on whether Israel has committed genocide.
Israel has vehemently rejected the accusation as “wholly unfounded”.
Friday’s hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague was the first time the judges have issued a ruling as part of the case which began two weeks ago. A verdict on the central allegation of genocide is expected to take much longer, possibly years.
Although the court did not call for a halt to Israel’s military action, as South Africa had asked it to do, it is being interpreted as a victory for those who support South Africa’s case.
The ICJ found it did have jurisdiction on the matter, and decided there was a plausible case under the 1948 Genocide Convention, and that the Palestinian population in Gaza was at real risk of irreparable damage