PARIS: The reactions to the top UN court’s ruling Friday in the Israel-Gaza case were split along the lines of the war raging in the Palestinian territory.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said Israel must prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and allow humanitarian aid into the besieged strip of land.

The European Union; however, urged that the orders must be complied with. “Orders of the International Court of Justice are binding on the parties and they must comply with them. The European Union expects their full, immediate and effective implementation,” the bloc said.

“The World Court’s landmark decision puts Israel and its allies on notice that immediate action is needed to prevent genocide and further atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza,” said Balkees Jarrah, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch.

Palestinian welcomed the ruling. “The ICJ order is an important reminder that no state is above the law,” Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said in a video statement, adding that the ruling “should serve as a wake-up call for Israel and actors who enabled its entrenched impunity”.

However, for South Africa it was ‘victory for justice’ “Today marks a decisive victory for the international rule of law and a significant milestone in the search for justice for the Palestinian people,” said the foreign affairs ministry of South Africa, which brought the case before the ICJ.

Hamas; however, called for ‘isolating’ Israel “The (International) Court of Justice’s decision is an important development which contributes to isolating Israel and exposing its crimes in Gaza,” said Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Saudi Arabia welcomed the ICJ’s decision and called for the international community to “hold Israel accountable” for “violations” of international law.

Qatar’s foreign ministry “welcomed the provisional measures” ordered by the ICJ, calling them a “victory for humanity... and international justice”.

Kuwait welcomed an “important step” in the conflict, emphasising the “imperative” for Israel to “respect this decision as well as the principles of international law, humanitarian law and UN resolutions”, according to a foreign ministry press release.

Spain stressed the need for peace. “We will continue to advocate for peace and an end to war, the release of hostages, access to humanitarian aid and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, so that both nations coexist in peace and security,” Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

However, France urged strict compliance of the ruling.

The French foreign ministry emphasised “the importance” of Israel’s “strict compliance with international humanitarian law” and welcomed the ICJ’s call “for the “immediate and unconditional release of the Israeli soldiers”.

Turkey termed the ruling invaluable. “We hope that Israel’s attacks against women, children and the elderly will come to an end,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, calling the ruling “valuable”.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the ruling, saying: “The charge of genocide levelled against Israel is not only false, it’s outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it.”

The United States also termed the ruling ‘unfounded’. The United States reiterated its position that allegations Israel has committed genocide in Gaza are “unfounded”.

“We continue to believe that allegations of genocide are unfounded and note the court did not make a finding about genocide or call for a ceasefire in its ruling,” a US State Department spokesman said.


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