Highlights

  • Netanyahu reacts to ICJ genocide ruling
  • Claims against Israel are outrageous: Bibi
  • Don't commit acts of genocide: ICJ

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ICJ court ruling: Netanyahu says genocide claim against Israel 'outrageous'

His comments came after the United Nations’ top court stopped short of ordering a cease-fire in Gaza in a case accusing Israel of genocide

ICJ court ruling: Netanyahu says genocide claim against Israel 'outrageous'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday rejected genocide claims against Israel as “outrageous” and vowed to press ahead with the war with Hamas.

His comments came after the United Nations’ top court stopped short on Friday of ordering a cease-fire in Gaza in a case accusing Israel of genocide in the tiny coastal enclave, but demanded that Israel try to limit deaths and damage caused by its military offensive there.

South Africa brought the case, which goes to the core of one of the world’s most intractable conflicts, and had asked the court to order Israel to halt its operation.

While the ruling stopped short of that, it nonetheless amounted to an overwhelming rebuke of Israel’s wartime conduct and adds to mounting international pressure to halt the offensive that has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians, decimated vast swaths Gaza, and driven nearly 85% of its 2.3 million people from their homes.

Responding to the ruling Netanyahu said Israel would "do what is necessary to defend our country and defend our people."

In the highly anticipated decision made by a panel of 17 judges, the International Court of Justice decided not to throw out the case — and ordered six so-called provisional measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza.

Many of the measures were approved by an overwhelming majority of the judges.

An Israeli judge voted in favour of two of the six.

"The court is acutely aware of the extent of the human tragedy that is unfolding in the region and is deeply concerned about the continuing loss of life and human suffering,” Joan E. Donoghue, the court's president, said.

Provisional measures by the world court are legally binding, but it is not clear if Israel will comply with them.

Friday's decision is only an interim one; it could take years for the full case brought by South Africa to be considered.

While the case winds its way through the court, South Africa has asked the judges “as a matter of extreme urgency” to impose provisional measures.

Top of the South African list was a request for the court to order Israel to “immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza.”

But the court declined to do that.

Israel launched its massive air and ground assault on Gaza after Hamas militants stormed through Israeli communities on October 7 killing some 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and abducting another 250.

The Israeli offensive has decimated vast swaths of Gaza and driven nearly 85% of its 2.3 million people from their homes.

More than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed, the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said on Friday.

The ministry does not differentiate between combatants and civilians in its death toll, but has said about two-thirds of those killed were women and children.

The Israeli military claims at least 9,000 of those killed in the nearly four-month conflict are Hamas militants.


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