29 Mar 2024

Israel-Palestine Conflict: UN's Top Court ICJ Gave This Directive to Israel Amid Famine Threat in Gaza

Israel-Palestine Conflict: The top UN court the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has unanimously ordered Israel not to block the supply of relief materials to save Gaza from famine.

The International Court of Justice has said that Israel should act without delay to continue providing essential basic services and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Recently it was warned that if humanitarian aid does not reach Gaza in time, there could be a famine there within a few weeks.

Israel is constantly being accused of obstructing humanitarian aid. However it has rejected these allegations.

Recently, South Africa had accused Israel in the International Court of committing genocide in Gaza.

Israel, while denying allegations of genocide, has blamed the United Nations for the difficulties in distributing humanitarian aid in Gaza.

Before the latest decision of the Hague court, in January also the ICJ had asked Israel to make every possible effort to stop the incidents of genocide in Gaza.

Although this order of the International Court is legally binding, the court does not have the power to enforce it.

Last week, a report by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification Global Initiative warned that catastrophic conditions were emerging in Gaza.

The report said that all 22 lakh people in Gaza are facing massive food shortages and famine is expected in northern Gaza before the end of May.

In its order, the ICJ has said that Gaza is facing the threat of famine.

According to UN observers, 31 people in Gaza, including 27 children, have already died from malnutrition and dehydration.

Volker Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has also expressed condern on the situation.

He said last week that the situation of starvation and famine is arising because Israel has banned the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza on a large scale.

The ICJ said that Israel should cooperate with the United Nations and make every possible effort to deliver basic services and humanitarian aid to Gaza with immediate effect and without any delay.

ICJ says that essential aid includes items like food, water, electricity, fuel, clothing, shelter and medicines.

The decision also states that under the Geneva Convention, Israel must ensure that its forces do not do anything that violates any rights of the Palestinians in Gaza.

While Israel has claimed it is allowing aid into Gaza, senior UN, US and other international officials, as well as NGOs, have accused the country of obstructing life-saving aid to Gaza’s people.

Israel says it needs to inspect every shipment 

Israel says it needs to inspect every shipment to make sure no cargo can be used to the benefit of its Hamas enemies. Even trucks travelling from Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel, are inspected by Israeli forces. Aid officials criticise the slow and often arbitrary inspection process, which in practice blocks aid, with trucks waiting weeks for approvals.

Israeli officials did not issue a direct response to the ICJ’s order.

Under international law, using starvation as a weapon of war is explicitly prohibited, while occupying forces are also legally obliged to ensure those in areas they control are supplied with the means of life.

The UN said on Wednesday that famine was “ever closer to becoming a reality in northern Gaza” and that the health system was collapsing owing to the continuing hostilities and “access constraints”.

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