HRW Says Israel Not Complying With ICJ Order In Genocide Case


(MENAFN- Palestine News Network ) Jerusalem/PNN /

The Israeli government has failed to comply with at least one measure in the
legally binding order
from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in South Africa's genocide case, Human Rights Watch said today.

Citing warnings about“catastrophic conditions” in Gaza, the court
ordered
Israel on January 26, 2024, to“take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian aid,” and to report back on its compliance to the specific measures“within one month.”

One month later, however, Israel continues to obstruct the provision of basic services and the entry and distribution within Gaza of fuel and lifesaving aid, acts of
collective punishment
that amount to
war crimes
and include
the use of starvation of civilians as a weapon of war . Fewer trucks have entered Gaza and fewer aid missions have been permitted to reach northern Gaza in the several weeks since the ruling than in the weeks preceding it, according to
United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA).

“The Israeli government is starving Gaza's 2.3 million Palestinians, putting them in even more peril than before the World Court's binding order,” said
Omar Shakir,
Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch.“The Israeli government has simply ignored the court's ruling, and in some ways even intensified its repression, including further blocking lifesaving aid.”

Other countries should use all forms of leverage, including sanctions and embargoes, to press the Israeli government to comply with the court's binding orders in the genocide case, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch
found
in December 2023 that Israeli authorities are using starvation as a weapon of war. Pursuant a policy set out by Israeli officials and carried out by Israeli forces, the Israeli authorities are deliberately blocking the delivery of water, food, and fuel, willfully impeding humanitarian assistance, apparently razing agricultural areas, and depriving the civilian population of objects indispensable to its survival.

Israeli authorities have kept its supply of electricity for Gaza
shut off
since the October 7 Hamas-led attacks. After initially cutting the entire supply of water that Israel provides to Gaza via three pipelines, Israel resumed piping on two of its three lines. However, due to the cuts and widespread destruction to
water infrastructure
amid unrelenting Israeli air and ground operations, only
one of those lines remained
operational at only 47 percent capacity as of February 20. Officials at the Gaza Coastal Municipalities Water Utility told Human Rights Watch on February 20 that Israeli authorities have obstructed efforts to repair the water infrastructure.

Between January 26 and February 23, more than 3,400 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, according to figures from Gaza's
Health Ministry
compiled by OCHA.

South Africa's case against Israel for genocide is distinct from the
proceedings
on the legal consequences of Israel's 57-year-occupation, which began at the ICJ on February 19.

“Israel's blatant disregard for the World Court's order poses a direct challenge to the rules-based international order,” Shakir said.“Failure to ensure Israel's compliance puts the lives of millions of Palestinians at risk and threatens to undermine the institutions charged with ensuring respect for international law and the system that ensures civilian protection worldwide.”

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