Diplomatic official says politicians will decide on response to International Court of Justice

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

A diplomatic official says elected officials would examine possible responses if the International Court of Justice issues an interim ruling against Israel in a case filed by South Africa accusing Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza during the ongoing war.

“I can’t say what we will do right now if there will be this or that decision, that would not be right… we respect [the court’s] status,” the official says. “It is a decision for the political echelon in the event that there is an injunction of one kind or another.”

The official says it wasn’t clear what interim order was being requested of the court but it could range from an order to cease hostilities to something addressing concerns over the humanitarian situation in Gaza or specific military operations.

The official describes most of the allegations in the South African filing as “ridiculous,” but notes that there was also a section relating to comments made by senior Israeli politicians that indicate a deviation from acceptable practices in wartime, and notes that the filing used those comments to show that Israeli policy violates the 1948 Genocide Convention.

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