The first legal step against the crimes of the Zionist regime in Gaza

The International Court of Justice on Friday January ۲۴ ۲۰۱۴ announced its special ruling on South Africas complaint against the Israeli regime for committing genocide in Gaza and the need to take extraordinary measures. According to this ruling there is evidence of genocide in Gaza. Therefore the court rejects Israels request to set aside the case.
27 January 2024
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Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri

 

The International Court of Justice on Friday, January 24, 2014, announced its special ruling on South Africa's complaint against the Israeli regime for committing genocide in Gaza and the need to take extraordinary measures. According to this ruling, there is evidence of genocide in Gaza. Therefore, the court rejects Israel's request to set aside the case.

According to the president of this court, information shows that more than 25 thousand Palestinians were killed, and more than 2 million people were displaced during the war. The Palestinian people are protected based on the agreement on the prohibition of mass killing, and the Israeli regime must take the necessary measures to prevent the crimes of killing against a human group. This regime must also ensure that its forces do not commit the crime of genocide and take measures to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the International Court, is one of the main judicial organs of the United Nations, which is headquartered in the Netherlands. According to the statute, this court has two special jurisdictions, including dealing with legal disputes between countries and other active subjects of international law, which is called contentious jurisdiction, and providing advisory opinions in response to legal questions of international organizations, UN specialized agencies and the UN General Assembly, which is referred to as advisory jurisdiction. Based on this, South Africa, citing Article 9 of the Genocide Convention as the basis of the court's jurisdiction to handle this case, filed a complaint against the Israeli government in the court for the first time. The Court, while confirming its jurisdiction to deal with this case, issued a decision that confirms South Africa's claims of genocide in Gaza. Since, according to the statute, the decisions of the International Court of Justice are binding and final and give the interested party the right to file a complaint in the Security Council, this issue is important from various dimensions.

First of all, this decision proved the charges related to the mass killing of the Palestinian people by Israel and asked this regime to lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip and fulfill its obligations within the framework of international law.

On the other hand, the decision of the International Court of Justice regarding Israel's war in Gaza can be considered an important precedent in the field of dealing with human rights violations during wars. This decision shows that the International Court of Justice if it has jurisdiction, can investigate human rights violations during wars and demand the cessation of these violations.

Also, this decision shows that the international community takes human rights violations during wars seriously, and even influential regimes with international and comprehensive media support, such as Israel, cannot escape the consequences of their inhumane actions forever. On the contrary, issuing this opinion gives hope to the Palestinians and other victims of human rights violations that the international community will support them.

The most important effect of this decision is the loss of the soft power, reputation, and international credibility of the Zionist regime, which the powerful lobby for those years had tried to provide for this regime through influence in the media and the film and television industry, and show it as an oppressed victim and supporter of democracy and human rights.  Now, the Court's decision not only destroyed the credibility of the Israeli regime as an agent of genocide but also increased the cost of accompanying it for various countries to the extent that the Ugandan authorities have acquitted their judge in the court who ruled in favor of Israel. Based on this, it must be said that the Israeli regime was tried in the international court for the crime of genocide a few hours before the Holocaust Remembrance Day; it is a heavy defeat for this regime and a great victory for the oppressed Palestinian people.

Despite the above strengths, it seems that the decision of the court was somewhat conservative in some aspects. South Africa, considering the previous decision of The Hague Court in the case of Ukraine's complaint against Russia in 2022 (February 2022), in which the judges of the court declared in their provisional order that Russia is committed to immediately ending all its military operations in Ukraine, asked the court to issue a provisional order regarding the Gaza war before issuing the main decision, and order that Israel should suspend its military operations in and against Gaza. However, there is no trace of such a decision in the court's provisional order, and it is only stated that Israel must ensure that its forces do not commit genocide and take measures to improve the humanitarian situation for the besieged Palestinians. Such a provisional order shows that the influence of the Israeli regime in international institutions is still at a high level, and apparently, the legal team of this regime has also been able to convince the judges of this court that the military operations of this regime against Hamas and the people of Gaza are justified and necessary in the form of legitimate defense.

Now, from the legal point of view, the next step after announcing the decision of the International Court of Justice is for the Secretary General of the United Nations to send its orders to the Security Council, according to The Hague Court Statute. It is no secret that the American support in the Security Council of the Israeli regime, as it has prevented the ceasefire and the end of this devastating war, will probably prevent the imposition of serious pressure on this regime. But the disagreement between the US and Israeli authorities on the two-state solution to end this crisis and Biden's concern about the pressure of public opinion on the eve of the presidential election in this country and the costs of defending a genocidal regime are all factors that can weaken the decisive support of America from the Israeli regime and pave the way for forcing Israel to obey the rules of international law.

On the other hand, the decision of The Hague Court against the Israeli regime enables the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (which deals with the international crimes of individuals and state officials) to take action against the top officials of this regime. Therefore, despite the existing conservatism, it seems that the decision of the court is an influential issue and can be the basis of new legal measures against the Israeli regime, which uses tools such as genocide and violation of the laws of war and humanitarian rights to win.

Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri, University Professor

(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)

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