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Israel defies World Court's orders to prevent genocide

February 9, 2024 at 2:32 pm

Public hearings in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel began on Thursday at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands on January 11, 2024. [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

Two weeks after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel to take measures to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza, Tel Aviv continues to defy the preliminary ruling, which also requires it allow humanitarian aid into the blockaded Territory, Anadolu Agency reports.

The UN Court had found South Africa’s claim that Israel is committing genocide plausible in its provisional ruling last month. It issued an interim order demanding Israel stop obstructing aid deliveries into Gaza and improve the humanitarian situation there.

In the areas of the Gaza Strip that it now occupies, the Israeli army has set up checkpoints and divided the enclave into three parts. Passage, including of humanitarian aid, is not allowed without Israel’s permission.

Israeli forces have threatened to attack anything or anyone that attempts to pass without permission, firing, on Monday, at a humanitarian aid convoy waiting to go to the northern Gaza Strip from the sea, even though it had obtained permission and was coordinating with the UN Agency for Palestinian refugees, also known as UNRWA.

READ: Israel forces intensify Rafah strikes as diplomats seek to salvage Gaza truce

Anadolu has compiled data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in early February that reveals a decline in aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip despite the ICJ’s explicit ruling on 26 January for the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians.

Prior to the ICJ decision, an average of 156 aid trucks entered Gaza daily while, according to UN data, from the 11 days following 26 January, the daily average aid trucks permitted was only 93.

Thus, Israel has reduced the number of trucks entering Gaza with humanitarian aid by 40 per cent since the ICJ decision.

As a result, the crisis for essential items, such as medicines and health supplies, has worsened in Gaza. Currently, only a fraction of the average 500 trucks that used to enter the enclave daily before Israel’s ongoing onslaught began on 7 October are able to do so.

UN warns of famine

“For the month of January as a whole, only 10 of the 61 humanitarian aid missions planned for the north of Wadi Gaza were facilitated by the Israeli authorities,” UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, reported on Monday.

The UN warns that 2.2 million people in the Gaza Strip, or nearly the entire population of 2.3 million, are facing the threat of famine under intense Israeli attacks.

According to the UN, 378,000 people in Gaza are experiencing “catastrophic” hunger — referring to extreme lack of food, starvation and exhaustion of coping capacities — while 939,000 face food insecurity at the “emergency” level.

Israel continues killing

Despite the interim ruling of the UN’s top court, Tel Aviv has, so far, taken no steps to comply.

Reports from Gaza indicate that Israel has escalated the violence every day since 26 January, continuing to bomb civilians and block the entry of most humanitarian aid.

Since 26 January, Israel has killed 1,625 Palestinians and injured at least 2,660 in the Gaza Strip alone within just 13 days.

Despite being accused of genocide and war crimes for bombing and rendering many hospitals inoperative, Israel has also continued to target numerous healthcare facilities.

WATCH: Israelis block aid trucks at Gaza border

Preparation for attack on Rafah

About 2 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been forcibly displaced. The majority of the displaced have sought refuge in the city of Rafah, located on the southern border with Egypt.

Before the Israeli attacks, about 280,000 people resided in Rafah. Today, its population has exceeded 1.2 million, increasing by more than four times.

Due to inadequate housing, the vast majority in Rafah struggle to survive in makeshift camps. The Israeli government is now signalling that a ground attack on Rafah is imminent.

Despite the ICJ’s decision to halt actions that could constitute genocide under Article 2 of the 1948 Genocide Convention, Israel is expanding its attacks towards the south, where more than half of the displaced 2 million Palestinians have sought refuge, declaring it a “safe zone”.

Both, Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defence Minister, Yoav Gallant, openly announced their intentions to launch a ground attack on Rafah last week.

Rafah has been under Israeli airstrikes for months, but the expected new ground offensive raises concerns of new tragedies against civilians in the Gaza Strip.

READ: Red Cross warns hunger in Gaza ‘beyond catastrophic’