South Africa, EU Voice Expectation For Israel To Obey ICJ Orders

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and the deputy ambassador of Palestine, Bassam Elhussiny hug as they watch the ICJ ruling on the emergency measures requested by South Africa against Israel over its war on the Gaza Strip, in Johannesburg.

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that he expects Israel to abide by the International Court of Justice’s ruling that it take measures to prevent genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

This came after the International Court of Justice (ICJ)ruled in favour of its request to impose emergency measures against Israel over its military operations in Gaza.

“Today, Israel stands before the international community, its crimes against the Palestinians laid bare,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation.

He added, “We expect Israel as a self-proclaimed democracy and a state that respects the rule of law to abide by the measures handed down.”

Ramaphosa and members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party erupted in cheers as the UN court judges read the order, after the ANC national executive committee suspended a meeting to watch the broadcast from the court.

The South African President said that court “has vindicated us.”

“Some have told us we should mind our own business and not get involved in the affairs of other countries and yet it is very much our place as the people who know too well the pain of dispossession, discrimination, state sponsored violence.”

Cyril Ramaphosa
The European Union also said that it expects Israel and Hamas to fully comply with the rulings of the International Court of Justice.

A statement by the Commission read, “We take note of today’s order of the international court of justice on South Africa’s request for the indication of provisional measures.”

The EU reaffirms its continuing support to the international court of justice, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.

“Orders of the international court of justice are binding on the parties and they must comply with them. The EU expects their full, immediate and effective implementation.

“The right of each party to submit arguments in respect of jurisdiction, admissibility or the merits remains unaffected by the today’s decision on the South Africa’s request for the indication of provisional measures.”

European Union
In addition, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, welcomed the decision by the ICJ, saying that he hoped it will halt attacks against civilians in Gaza.

“We hope that Israel’s attacks against women, children and the elderly will come to an end,” Erdogan posted to social media.

“We will continue to work with all our strength and stand by our Palestinian brothers to establish a ceasefire and ensure the path to permanent peace,” he added.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a separate statement that it expected the ICJ decision to be “immediately and fully implemented by Israel.”

An Indirect Ceasefire Order
The University of London’s Nimer Sultany opined that though the International Court of Justice did not directly issue an order for a ceasefire in Gaza, the measures it did order require Israel to dramatically reduce its military operations.

Speaking to a news agency, he noted, “Courts will be reluctant to order any kind of measures that will not be enforced, because this shows the weakness of the court,” explaining why the ICJ chose not to issue a direct ceasefire order.

Instead, he said, “They indirectly and effectively call for a drastic scaling down of the Israeli military campaign.”

Using the example of the court’s order for Israel to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza, Sultany said that there is no way Israel can comply if it continues to prosecute the war in its current form.

“If Israel dismisses this ruling by the ICJ in the same way it dismissed the opening of an investigation by the [International Criminal Court] a couple of years ago, and the same way it dismissed the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty [international] reports on apartheid, it will reaffirm its position as a rogue state.”

Nimer Sultany


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