Israel's Gaza assault rumbles on despite ICJ genocide ruling

Israel's Gaza assault rumbles on despite ICJ genocide ruling
As Israel continued its offensive in the southern Gaza Strip on day 112 of its war on the enclave, the world awaited the a ruling of the top UN court.
11 min read
26 January, 2024

Israel must prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and allow humanitarian aid into the territory, the UN's top court ruled Friday, in a closely watched decision that stopped short of calling for a ceasefire.

The International Court of Justice was not deciding whether Israel was actually committing genocide with its military campaign in Gaza - that process will likely take several years.

Meanwhile, Israel struck refugee camps and public facilities in Khan Younis, and snipers are reportedly attacking Palestinians near Al-Amal Hospital.

More than 26,000 people have been killed and 64,487 have been injured since Israel launched its war on Gaza on 7 October.

South Africa calls for 'concerted efforts' on a ceasefire
5:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed in a TV speech an expectation for Israel to adhere to the decision of the World Court and advocated for more determined efforts towards achieving a ceasefire, especially in the context of the ICJ's judgement. 

Israel must comply with key ICJ ruling: Amnesty
5:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Amnesty International has described the recent ICJ ruling as an "important step" towards safeguarding Palestinians from continued distress and irreparable damage. 

"While the ICJ's decision is a vital step, it alone cannot halt the horrors and destruction Gazans are experiencing. The alarming indications of genocide in Gaza, coupled with Israel's blatant defiance of international law, underscore the pressing necessity for concerted global pressure on Israel to cease its attacks on Palestinians. An immediate ceasefire by all involved parties is critical. Although not mandated by the Court, it's the most effective way to enforce the provisional measures and alleviate the extraordinary suffering of civilians," said Agnes Callamard, the Secretary General of Amnesty.

The ICJ order is clear: Scotland’s First Minister
4:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf said that the killing and destruction in Gaza must stop, following the ICJ ruling

"Urgent humanitarian assistance must be provided to prevent more suffering. Hostages must be released immediately," he wrote on X.

"With such death and destruction, we will continue to call for an immediate ceasefire.

EU says expects immediate implementation of ICJ Gaza ruling
3:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The European Union said Friday it wanted "immediate" implementation of a United Nations court ruling that Israel must prevent genocidal acts in Gaza.

"Orders of the International Court of Justice are binding on the parties and they must comply with them. The European Union expects their full, immediate and effective implementation," Brussels said in a statement.

Argentine president to visit Israel 'in coming weeks'
3:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Argentine President Javier Milei announced on Friday that he will travel to Israel in the coming weeks.

Egypt welcomes World Court ruling on Israel
3:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Egypt on Friday welcomed the International Court of Justice ruling on South Africa's request to impose emergency measures against Israel over its war on the Gaza Strip.

A foreign ministry statement also said Egypt "was looking forward to the International Court of Justice demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as the Court ruled in similar cases," stressing the need to respect and implement its decisions.

Rome, Milan order pro-Palestinian marches postponed
3:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Italian officials in Rome and Milan on Friday ordered the postponement of pro-Palestinian demonstrations after Jewish communities expressed concern at a clash with international Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Rome's prefecture said the march through the capital, organised by the "Movement of Italian Palestinian Students" for Saturday, will have to be held "on another date, from January 28".

A similar decision was taken in the northern city of Milan.

UN court ruling shows 'no state is above the law': PA
3:39 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestinian Authority said Friday a ruling by the UN's top court that Israel should do everything it can to prevent any acts of genocide in Gaza shows "no state is above the law".

"The ICJ order is an important reminder that no state is above the law," Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said in a video statement, adding that the ruling "should serve as a wake-up call for Israel and actors who enabled its entrenched impunity".

Hamas says UN court ruling 'contributes to isolating Israel'
3:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas hailed an "important" ruling Friday by the UN's top court that Israel should do everything it can to prevent any acts of genocide in Gaza, saying it "contributes to isolating Israel".

"The (International) Court of Justice's decision is an important development which contributes to isolating Israel and exposing its crimes in Gaza," the group said in a statement.

Hamas releases video of 3 Israeli women hostages in Gaza
2:59 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas released a video on Friday showing three Israeli women held hostage in Gaza since the October 7 attack.

Two of the women who appeared in the five-minute video said they were Israeli soldiers, and the third said she was a civilian. The three women have been identified by AFP using official and community sources.

Netanyahu slams genocide case as 'outrageous' after ruling
2:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed as "outrageous" South Africa's case against it at the UN's top court, after judges ruled Friday that Israel must act to prevent genocide.

"The charge of genocide leveled against Israel is not only false, it's outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it," Netanyahu said in a video statement.

Spanish government welcomes UN court Gaza ruling
2:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spain, one of the most critical voices in Europe of Israel's offensive in Gaza, welcomed a ruling by the United Nations' top court on Friday that Israel should act to prevent acts of genocide in the Palestinian territory.

"We welcome the decision of the International Court of Justice and ask the parties to apply the provisional measures it has decreed," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on social network X, the former Twitter.

"We will continue to advocate for peace and an end to war, the release of hostages, access to humanitarian aid and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, so that both nations coexist in peace and security," he added.

Erdogan says he hopes UN court ruling can halt Gaza violence
2:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday he hoped a UN court ruling that Israel must prevent acts of genocide in Gaza will halt "inhumane" attacks against civilians.

"I find the interim injunction decision taken by the International Court of Justice regarding the inhumane attacks in Gaza valuable and welcome it," Erdogan said in a social media statement.

"We hope that Israel's attacks against women, children and the elderly will come to an end," he said, adding that Turkey would continue trying to "establish a ceasefire and ensure the path to permanent peace".

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Erdogan had earlier said that Turkey was providing South Africa with documents to support its "genocide" case against Israel at the top UN court.

"We will continue to follow the process to ensure that war crimes committed against innocent Palestinian civilians do not go unpunished," he said on Friday.

Israeli soldier killed in Gaza
2:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel’s military has announced the death of another soldier and 11 injuries in the southern Gaza Strip conflict.

According to their statement, the total number of Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza since October 7 has risen to 557, with 220 of those fatalities occurring since the ground operation began on 27 October. 

Jordan protests call for Gaza ceasefire
1:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

At least hundreds of demonstrators have taken to Amman's streets to show solidarity with the Palestinians and demand an end to the Gaza blockade.

Organised by the National Gathering for Resistance Support, the march began at the al-Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman and concluded at al-Nakheel Square, covering about 1km (0.6 miles), as reported by a correspondent from Anadolu Agency.

Despite of heavy rain, demonstrators carried on with protests banners with messages like "Open the Rafah Crossing" and "Break the blockade."

Ben-Gvir says ICJ accuses IC of being '"antisemitic"
1:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel’s National Security Minister Ben-Gvir accuses ICJ of being "antisemitic," saying that court "does not seek justice"

ICJ sitting closed
12:51 PM
The New Arab Staff

 The court has ordered Israel, among other things to try to limit death and destruction in the Gaza Strip but did not order a ceasefire.

Summary: ICJ orders to Israel
12:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

World Court orders provisional measures in Israel genocide saying Israel must: 

  • Ensure it does not commit genocide
  • Punish those who incite to genocide
  • Provide humanitarian assistance in Gaza
  • Prevent destruction of evidence
  •  Submit report to court in one month
ICJ President highlights Israel's dehumanising language
12:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

The President of the ICJ said that the court has observed several dehumanising statements from high-ranking Israeli officials.

The court specifically highlighted comments made by Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, who called for a "complete siege" of Gaza and described Palestinians as “human animals” to the troops.

ICJ President cites UN agencies on humanitarian situation
12:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

The judge cited UN emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths' statement "Gaza has become a place of death and despair."

She highlighted the displacement of 1.7 million people in Gaza, rendering the area "uninhabitable." 

The judge also mentions that 1.4 million individuals are currently housed in UN shelters, where they are facing severe shortages. She refers to the statement by the commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, emphasising that the crisis in Gaza is exacerbated by dehumanising language.

Palestinians protected group under Genocide Convention: ICJ
12:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

Continuing the reading, the President of the ICJ said that the court acknowledges the Palestinians as a group entitled to protection against acts of genocide under the Genocide Convention.

Israel's operations killed and injured many: ICJ
12:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

ICJ President Judge Donoghue acknowledged that the military operation carried out by Israel has led to a large number of deaths and injuries.

She pointed out the operation also caused widespread destruction of homes, forced displacement of the majority of the population, and extensive damage to civilian infrastructure.

'At least some' allegations within genocide provisions: ICJ
12:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

ICJ President Donoghue says some allegations against Israel fall within the provisions of the Genocide Convention.

Sufficient evidence of dispute exists for genocide case: ICJ
12:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

The president of the ICJ said that there is enough evidence of a dispute to proceed with the genocide case, affirming the court's decision not to dismiss the case.

Israel's acts have 'capability of genocide': ICJ
12:13 PM
The New Arab Staff

Judge Donoghue says the court has jurisdiction to rule over emergency measures in the case, and that Israel's acts have 'capability of genocide'.

ICJ ‘acutely aware’ of human tragedy magnitude
12:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

Judge Donoghue commenced her address by mentioning the attack by Hamas in Israel on 7 October .

She proceeded to detail how Israel initiated a comprehensive military campaign in Gaza through land, air, and sea, leading to substantial civilian casualties, widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure, and the displacement of most of Gaza's inhabitants.

She emphasized that the court is fully aware of the human tragedy's magnitude in the area and expressed profound concern over the ongoing loss of life and human suffering.

ICJ judges arrive to courtroom
12:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Leading the session, Presiding Judge Joan Donoghue initiates the proceedings and extends a welcome to the delegates from South Africa and Israel.

Israeli tanks fire at al-Amal Hospital: PRCS
11:37 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has reported that Israeli army tanks have fired at the eastern entrance of al-Amal Hospital, leading to debris scattering within the facility.

"The hospital is under siege with heavy gunfire, resulting in several injuries in the vicinity," PRCS said in a statement on X.

Both al-Amal and Nasser hospitals in Khan Younis have been besieged by Israeli forces for several days, with al-Amal being managed by the PRCS.

Turkey urges UK for immediate Gaza ceasefire
11:10 AM
The New Arab Staff

Turkey's Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan stressed the urgency of  achieving a "full and immediate ceasefire" in Gaza during a meeting with Britain's David Cameron in Istanbul, according to a report from Reuters.

A Turkish diplomatic source informed the news agency about the discussions, which lasted approximately 90 minutes and included broader talks between delegations.

The meeting covered the conflict in Gaza, bilateral relations, and Turkey's stance on Sweden's bid to join NATO. 

Israeli forces call on residents of Khan Younis to evacuate
10:57 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military has issued an evacuation order to residents in parts of Khan Younis city in the southern Gaza Strip.

This directive targeted multiple neighborhoods, instructing residents to relocate to the Al-Mawasi area for safety.

"To the residents of the Khan Younis area in the neighbourhoods of Al-Nasr, al-Amal, the city centre and the refugee camp in blocks 107-112: for your safety, you must immediately move to the humanitarian zone in Al-mawasi via Al-Bahr Street," the army's message read.



Gaza facing 'uninhabitable' conditions amid cold: UN
10:24 AM
The New Arab Staff

The UN human rights office has described the conditions in Gaza as "completely uninhabitable," due to the cold and rainy weather. 

The head of the UN office for the occupied Palestinian territory, Ajith Sunghay, said  "We’re also very worried about the impact of the rainy, cold weather in Gaza."

“It was entirely predictable at this time of the year, and risks making an already unsanitary situation completely uninhabitable for the people. Most have no more clothes or blankets." T

The majority of Palestinians have been displaced internally by Israeli offensives, leading to overcrowded shelters where they face not only the harsh weather but also the threats of disease, as well as severe shortages of food, water, and medical supplies.

Protesters disrupt Labour event demanding Gaza ceasefire
10:05 AM
The New Arab Staff

A UK Labour Party event in Manchester was interrupted by demonstrators demanded a ceasefire in Gaza.

A man, grieving the loss of his mother and other relatives in Gaza, approached MP Angela Rayner during her speech, presenting photographs of his deceased family members. "Why are you not demanding a ceasefire?" he said before security escorted him out.

Another protester, a woman, challenged Rayner's feminist stance, saying, "Women and children dead, Angela Rayner, and you call yourself a modern-day feminist, I don’t think so," before she too was removed by security.

Israel touts Gaza operations after aid distribution massacre
9:19 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military has said that its ongoing operations in the Gaza Strip involve coordinated attacks from land, air, and sea.

According to their statement, the air force has hit various targets including operational centres, weapons storage areas, observation points, and an anti-tank position used by Palestinian militants.

They added that the navy has conducted strikes against several coastal targets.

Israel has continued to target and kill civilians in their operations, with Gaza’s health ministry and witnesses saying on Thursday that Israeli troops opened fire as a crowd of Palestinians gathered for humanitarian aid in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people.

Israel's national airline suspends flights to Johannesburg
9:14 AM
The New Arab Staff

El Al Israel Airlines has announced the suspension of its Johannesburg route, effective by the end of March, following South Africa's genocide case against Israel at the ICJ.

Israel's national airline operates up to two nonstop flights per week to Johannesburg.

Gaza death toll surpasses 26,000
8:57 AM
The New Arab Staff

At least 26,083 Palestinians have been killed and 64,487 wounded in Israel's war on Gaza since 7 October, according to the Gaza health ministry's latest figures.

The ministry added that at least 183 people have been killed and 377 injured in the past 24 hours.