Public hearings on Israeli practices in Palestine start at world’s top court


Public hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Israeli practices in Palestine began on Monday.

The public hearings started following the UN General Assembly’s request for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from policies and practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

A General Assembly resolution asked the ICJ to determine legal consequences “arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” and “from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures.”

At least 50 countries will present their arguments regarding the legality or otherwise of the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories, according to the court.

South Africa brought a genocide case against Israel to the ICJ in late December and asked it to grant emergency measures to end the bloodshed in Gaza, where more than 28,600 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7.

The court on Jan. 26 ordered Israel to take “all measures within its power” to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza but fell short of ordering a cease-fire.

It also ordered Israel to take “immediate and effective” measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip.

A cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group, Hamas, on Oct. 7 killed less than 1,200 people, but the ensuing Israeli offensive into Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Despite international outcry, Israel now plans a ground invasion of Rafah, which holds around 1.4 million refugees.__The Nation