UN’s top court to rule on Israel Gaza genocide case

The court will issue its ruling at 1pm (12pm GMT) in a hearing expected to last about an hour. While the judges will not rule on the merits of the genocide allegations, which may take years to decide, South Africa asked the court to issue an interim order compelling Israel to suspend its military operations.

Israel has called South Africa’s allegations false and “grossly distorted”, and said it makes the utmost efforts to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza.

The court’s rulings are final and without appeal, but it has no way of enforcing them. Israel on Thursday expressed confidence that the ICJ would “throw out these spurious and specious charges”. Hamas said it would abide by an ICJ ceasefire order if Israel reciprocates.


Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts to negotiate a break in the conflict continued.

US and Israeli intelligence chiefs were due to meet Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Europe this weekend, one official told Reuters. A second source said Egypt’s intelligence chief would also participate.

The White House has been trying to facilitate the release of the more than 100 remaining Israeli hostages taken during Hamas’ Oct 7 attack on Israel, which ignited the war in Gaza, although there remains a considerable distance between the two sides’ demands.

A third source with knowledge of the talks said that Israel has proposed a 60-day pause in the fighting during which hostages would be released in phases, beginning with civilian women and children.

Previously, three sources told Reuters that shuttle diplomacy over the past month involving the US, Qatar and Egypt has sought to hammer out a new deal for a ceasefire of about one month. But progress has been held up by differences between Hamas and Israel over how to bring a permanent end to the Gaza war.

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