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Urgent additional ICJ measures requested for Gaza

South Africa filed an urgent request with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on March 7 for additional provisional measures or adjustments to the court’s January and February rulings in the country’s case against Israel, charging that Israel is carrying out genocide in the Gaza Strip. South Africa said the request is necessitated by changes to the situation in Gaza that have arisen since it originally filed the case with the ICJ, such as imminent risk of famine, particularly in northern Gaza. South Africa said the request is meant “to ensure the safety and security of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza” and prevent Israel from “continuing egregious breaches” of the provisional measures the ICJ handed down on Jan. 26.

The ability to modify or add to the provisional measures in a previously-issued ICJ order is given in Article 41 of Statute of the ICJ. Articles 75(1), 75(3), and 76(1) of the Rules of Courtalso pertain to the court’s ability to modify or add to the provisional measures.

South Africa first applied for additional provisional measures on Feb. 12, noting the “significant development” of a statement three days earlier from the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel. In that statement, the office said:

It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war of eliminating Hamas by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah.  On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat. Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the IDF and the security establishment to submit to the Cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions.

The ICJ found on Feb. 16 that this statement did not demand the implementation of additional provisional measures, but instead demanded effective and immediate implementation of the existing measures.

The current application is separate from the Feb. 12 request. As such, it is unaffected by the court’s Feb. 16 decision.

The death toll in Gaza is now estimated to be over 30,000 since early October. While there are ongoing discussions regarding a ceasefire for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, there is no agreement yet. Ramadan begins on Sunday March 10.

From Jurist, March 7. Used with permission.

See our last report on genocide accusations against Israel.