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The International Judicial System vs. Israel Reactions and Significance

The International Judicial System vs. Israel Reactions and Significance. From the (ITIC) website
  • On May 24, 2024, the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) issued temporary orders regarding the IDF’s activities in Rafah and the humanitarian demands from Israel according to the provisions of the Convention for Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention). The orders were issued following a lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel alleging a violation of the Convention.

  • On May 20, 2024, Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC),[2] announced that he had submitted an application for arrest warrants on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity for Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip; Muhammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing; and Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau. At the same time, a request was also submitted for warrants for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. A panel of judges will decide whether to issue the arrest warrants.

  • The new ICJ order does not demand a halt to the IDF operation in Rafah, but only states that Israel will not carry out actions that could be construed as “genocide” of Palestinians.

  • The request for arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant is unprecedented, since it was the first time the ICC’s prosecutor’s office sought to arrest individuals from a Western country, especially the elected leader of a democratic country. It also created a false equation between the Israeli leaders and senior Hamas terrorists who were responsible for a brutal terrorist attack and massacre in which more than 1,200 people were murdered and more than 240 were kidnapped. Issuing warrants for persons in office may lead to similar measures by the prosecutor’s office against government and military personnel who are no longer in office, which would indicate a lack of trust in Israel’s judicial system.

  • The ICJ ruling and the chief prosecutor’s request were regarded by the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas and Palestinian NGOs as important achievements in the lawfare [legal warfare] they have been waging against Israel for years and which they regard as no less important than the armed struggle against Israel (see the Appendix).

  • The Palestinians welcomed the ICJ ruling and the request to issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant even though the request included warrants for the Hamas leadership. However, there was doubt regarding Israel’s willingness to stop the operation in Rafah along with criticism of chief prosecutor’s request to issue arrest warrants for the three senior Hamas figures as well.


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