ICJ will rule on Israel’s request to halt military action

The top court of the UN may declare an emergency and order Israel to stop its armed actions in Gaza. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hear arguments on Friday related to a case that South Africa filed, in which it claims Israel is carrying out genocide. The lawsuit was launched two weeks ago, and both nations provided testimony. The claim has been sharply denied by Israel. Even if a decision against Israel would not be legally binding, it would have political ramifications.

Since Israel started its offensive, which was sparked by the group’s unprecedented attack on Israel, more than 25,000 Palestinians—mostly women and children—have died and tens of thousands have been injured, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. The majority of the 1,300 individuals murdered in the Hamas strike on October 7 were civilians. Also, the terrorists kidnapped and returned roughly 250 people to Gaza as hostages. Strongly backing the Palestinians, South Africa requested that the court impose nine interim measures, including an end to Israel’s military operations while it reviews the genocide claim. It can take years before a decision is made on the latter.

Israel was indignant about the genocide accusation and accused South Africa of falsifying evidence. It claimed that it was targeting Hamas fighters rather than Palestinian civilians and that it had the right to self-defense. It requested that the courts reject South Africa’s motion, claiming that it was founded on “grossly distorted” and unfounded claims of a genocide that never happened. The 17 judges—15 permanent justices and one each from South Africa and Israel—must respond to two queries before issuing a decision on Friday:

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