The International Court of Justice (ICJ), based in The Hague, is set to rule on a significant case that has captured global attention.
When will ICJ rule on Israel genocide case?
This case, formally known as the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel), has stirred a wide array of reactions from the international community.
South Africa’s application, filed on 29 December 2023, seeks to hold Israel accountable for alleged genocidal acts against the Palestinian people.
The ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, conducted public hearings on this matter on 11 and 12 January 2024. These hearings were the first steps in a process that could have far-reaching implications for international law and geopolitics.
The ICJ’s pending decision on provisional measures requested by South Africa is eagerly anticipated.
While the exact date of the ruling has not been formally specified by the court, reports suggest a decision from The Hague could come as soon as Friday, 26 January 2024.
What will happen if South Africa wins its case against Israel?
The outcome could potentially set a precedent in international law, particularly in how the Genocide Convention is applied and enforced.
The case centres around allegations that Israel’s military operations in Gaza constitute genocide under the 1948 Genocide Convention, a treaty to which both Israel and South Africa are signatories.
This convention obliges all states that have ratified it to prevent and punish the crime of genocide. The ICJ’s role in this matter is to rule on disputes over the interpretation and application of this international treaty.
Global reactions to this case have been varied. The Organisation of Islamic Countries, Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan, Bolivia, and several other countries have expressed support for South Africa’s application.
Advocacy groups and civil society organisations worldwide have also echoed this support.
In contrast, the United States has voiced strong opposition, with National Security spokesperson John Kirby calling the submission “meritless” and “counterproductive.”
If the ICJ finds Israel guilty of genocide, the decision would mark a groundbreaking moment in international law, significantly impacting Israel’s global standing and potentially reshaping diplomatic relations.
The ruling could also energise efforts to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and influence the actions of other nations in similar disputes.