The World Court on Friday ordered Israel to take action to prevent acts of genocide as it wages war against Hamas militants in Gaza, and do more to help civilians, but it stopped short of calling for an immediate ceasefire as requested by South Africa.
Following are reactions to the ruling by the UN-affiliated International Court of Justice in The Hague:
  • South African foreign ministry
"Today marks a decisive victory for the international rule of law and a significant milestone in the search for justice for the Palestinian people.
"There is no credible basis for Israel to continue to claim that its military actions are in full compliance with international law, including the Genocide Convention, having regard to the Court's ruling.
"South Africa sincerely hopes that Israel will not act to frustrate the application of this order, as it has publicly threatened to do, but that it will instead act to comply with it fully, as it is bound to do."
  • Palestinian foreign minister Eiyad al-Maliki
"The ICJ judges assessed the facts and the law, they ruled in favour of humanity and international law.
"We call on all states to ensure that all provisional measures ordered by the Court are implemented, including by Israel, the occupying power. This is a binding legal obligation.
"The ICJ order is an important reminder that no state is above the law. It should serve as a wake-up call for Israel and actors who enabled its entrenched impunity."
  • Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri
"The International Court of Justice ruling is an important development that contributes to isolating the occupation (Israel) and exposing its crimes in Gaza. We call for compelling the occupation to implement the court's decisions."
  • Human Rights Watch
"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. Lives hang in the balance, and governments need to urgently use their leverage to ensure that the order is enforced. The scale and gravity of civilian suffering in Gaza driven by Israeli war crimes demands nothing less...
"The court's clear and binding orders raise the stakes for Israel's allies to back up their stated commitment to a global rules-based order by helping ensure compliance with this watershed ruling."
  • Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian of Iran
"Today, the authorities of the fake Israeli regime ... must be brought to justice immediately for committing genocide and unprecedented war crimes against the Palestinians."
  • Human rights lawyer Reed brody
"The ICJ didn't give South Africa all it wanted, but this ruling is a resounding vindication of Pretoria's decision to bring the case, and a powerful indictment of Israeli policy.
"Most importantly, whatever the Israeli government may say, this binding order will put pressure on Israel, directly and through its allies, to end the collective punishment of the people of Gaza and to allow humanitarian aid."
  • Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard
"The stakes could not be higher - the ICJ's provisional measures indicate that in the Court's view the survival of Palestinians in Gaza is at risk. The Israeli government must comply with the ICJ's ruling immediately."
  • Egypt's foreign ministry
Egypt on Friday welcomed the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on South Africa's request to impose emergency measures against Israel over its war in the Gaza Strip.
A foreign ministry statement also said Egypt "was looking forward to the International Court of Justice demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as the Court ruled in similar cases," stressing the need to respect and implement its decisions.
  • Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez
Spain, one of the most critical voices in Europe of Israel's offensive against Hamas, welcomed a ruling by the United Nations' top court on Friday that Israel should act to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.
"We welcome the decision of the International Court of Justice and ask the parties to apply the provisional measures it has decreed," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on social network X, the former Twitter.
"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," he added.
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