Skip to main content

War on Gaza: ICJ to rule on new measures in Israel genocide case

South Africa said last week that the court's initial measures were 'not effective' and demanded a halt to Israel's offensive on Rafah
Palestinian official Ammar Hijazi (left) with South Africa's Ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela (centre) and South African diplomat Zane Dangor (right) at the ICJ in The Hague, 17 May 2024 (Reuters/Yves Herman)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to deliver its ruling on Friday regarding South Africa's request to halt Israel's Rafah offensive in Gaza, the court announced on Thursday.

In its fourth submission to the ICJ last week, South Africa requested new emergency measures over Israel’s incursion in Rafah as part of its ongoing case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.

These measures are in addition to the nine provisional measures requested by South Africa in its first submission to the court in January, which included a call for Israel to halt military operations in Gaza.

The court did not deliver this key order but called on Israel to ensure its troops do not commit genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza, allow more humanitarian aid to flow in and preserve any evidence of violations.

The court ordered Israel to report back on its compliance with the measures “within one month”.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


Human rights organisations have deplored Israel’s failure to implement any of the measures, with Israel continuing to obstruct aid flows to the strip and escalating its military assault on the enclave.

Watch in full: Israel asks ICJ to reject South Africa's request that it end Rafah offensive
Read More »

Israel launched a large-scale incursion into the southern city of Rafah, forcing over 800,000 people to flee.

Last week, one of South Africa’s representatives at the hearing, Professor Vaughan Lowe, told the ICJ that the provisional measures already issued to Israel by the court were "not effective" in protecting Palestinians against genocide. He urged the court to "reassert its own authority and the authority of international law".

Israel's representatives told the top UN court that South Africa's case was "completely divorced from the facts and circumstances" and made a "mockery of the heinous charge of genocide".

According to the Israel Hayom newspaper, senior Israeli officials are concerned that the ICJ will vote to issue a new measure demanding a ceasefire.

Such a move will add to the diplomatic strains Israel is already facing, following a decision by International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan to apply for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Monday for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.