Rights groups claim aid has decreased

Israel reports to ICJ in The Hague on actions taken to comply with court orders on Gaza

Amid South African accusation of genocide, judges instructed Jerusalem last month to specify efforts to protect civilians; details of report not released to public

File: The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the UN, delivers its order South Africa's request for provisional measures against Israel over its actions in the Gaza Strip, January 26, 2024. (International Court of Justice)
File: The International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of the UN, delivers its order on the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by South Africa against Israel over its actions in the Gaza Strip, January 26, 2024. (International Court of Justice)

Israel on Monday submitted a report to the International Court of Justice detailing the measures it has and is taking to comply with a court order from January, when judges called on it to prevent actions in the Gaza war that could violate clauses of the Genocide Convention, an Israeli official said.

The official did not provide details on the content of the report, which was filed hours before the deadline for its submission.

The key demands made by the court on January 26 were for Israel to “prevent and punish” incitement to genocide, and “enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance” to Gaza to alleviate civilian suffering in the territory.

Israel reported in its submission that it is implementing those orders, and detailed the steps it has taken to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, as well as the measures being taken by senior legal and law enforcement officials against those who may have made comments inciting genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza, including senior government officials, Kan news reported.

The report was drafted by the Justice Ministry and Foreign Ministry, and will not be released to the press or the general public.

Last month, the UN’s top court ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and to ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians, after South Africa accused Israel of state-led genocide. Israel and its Western allies rejected the allegation as baseless.

Israel says it does all it can to spare civilians and is only targeting Hamas terrorists. It says Hamas’s tactic of embedding in civilian areas and institutions makes it difficult to avoid civilian casualties.

In its ruling, the court said Israel specifically had to prevent and punish any public incitements to commit genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and to preserve evidence related to any allegations of genocide there. It also said the country must take measures to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinian civilians in the enclave.

It rejected South Africa’s request that it order Israel to halt its offensive against Hamas in the enclave.

A worker carries bags of humanitarian aid that entered Gaza by truck through the Kerem Shalom border crossing on February 17, 2024. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

A final ruling in the case in The Hague could take years.

Amnesty International alleged Monday that Israeli authorities had “failed to take even the bare minimum steps to comply” with the ICJ ruling. Both Amnesty and Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the number of aid trucks entering Gaza had actually decreased by roughly one-third since the ruling was issued.

“The Israeli government is starving” Gaza’s 2.4 million Palestinians, “putting them in even more peril than before the World Court’s binding order,” said Omar Shakir, HRW’s Israel and Palestine director. “The Israeli government has simply ignored the court’s ruling, and in some ways even intensified its repression, including further blocking lifesaving aid.”

Israel, which checks all trucks entering Gaza, has blamed the United Nations for the fall-off in deliveries and said it is prepared to speed up the clearance of aid.

Israel has said that Hamas stockpiles supplies and keeps them from increasingly desperate civilians.

Palestinians wait for humanitarian aid on a beachfront in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, February 25, 2024. (AP Photo/ Mahmoud Essa)

War erupted on October 7 when Hamas led a devastating attack on Israel in which 1,200 people were murdered, most of them civilians. The terrorists also abducted 253 people of all ages who were taken as hostages to Gaza, where over half remain, not all of them alive.

Israel responded with a military offensive to topple the Hamas regime in Gaza and free the hostages

According to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry, Israel’s offensive in Gaza has killed at least 29,782 people, a figure that cannot be independently verified and includes those killed as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires, as well as the 12,000 Hamas terrorists Israel says it has killed in battle. Israel also says it killed some 1,000 gunmen inside Israel on October 7.

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