UN court says Israel must prevent genocide as Gaza war rages on


President Cyril Ramaphosa and senior officials erupted in cheers after the ruling, which is legally binding although the court has no enforcement mechanism.

“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 said, expressing hope the decision will lead to a new diplomatic push to end the war.

Speaking after the ruling, Netanyahu said the charge “is not only false, it’s outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it”.

Israel “does not need to be lectured on morality,” his Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said, and Israel’s ally the United States reiterated that genocide accusations were “unfounded”.

For the Palestinian Authority, the ruling showed that “no state is above the law”, and the European Union said it wanted immediate implementation of the court’s decision.

Palestinians had welcomed South Africa’s case, but the court’s decision left them caught between pride and frustration.

“We feel that the court could have clearly called for a ceasefire in addition to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza,” Mais Shabana said after watching the ruling in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

In Jerusalem, shoppers at Mahaneh Yehudah Market were dismissive.

Aryeh Schaffer, a student, called the genocide accusation “absolutely ridiculous” because Israelis were “just defending their homeland”.



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