Reactions to World Court Ruling on Israel’s War in Gaza

A participant during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian population, and in support of the South African cause, during a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on a request from South Africa for emergency measures for Gaza, 26 January 2024. (EPA)
A participant during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian population, and in support of the South African cause, during a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on a request from South Africa for emergency measures for Gaza, 26 January 2024. (EPA)
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Reactions to World Court Ruling on Israel’s War in Gaza

A participant during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian population, and in support of the South African cause, during a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on a request from South Africa for emergency measures for Gaza, 26 January 2024. (EPA)
A participant during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinian population, and in support of the South African cause, during a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on a request from South Africa for emergency measures for Gaza, 26 January 2024. (EPA)

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."

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU

"Israel's commitment to international law is unwavering. Equally unwavering is our sacred commitment to continue to defend our country and defend our people. Like every country, Israel has an inherent right to defend itself.

"The vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state, and it was justly rejected. The charge of genocide levelled against Israel is not only false, it's outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it.

"Israel will continue to defend itself against Hamas, a genocidal terror organization.

"On Oct. 7, Hamas perpetrated the most horrific atrocities against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and it vows to repeat these atrocities again and again and again. Our war is against Hamas terrorists, not against Palestinian civilians."

PALESTINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER RIYAD AL-MALIKI

"The ICJ judges assessed the facts and the law, they ruled in favor 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."

ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER YOAV GALLANT

"The International Court of Justice in The Hague went above and beyond, when it granted South Africa's antisemitic request to discuss the claim of genocide in Gaza, and now refuses to reject the petition outright."

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."

ISRAELI NATIONAL SECURITY MINISTER ITAMAR BEN-GVIR

"Hague shmague" - he wrote, appearing to mock the ruling in a Yiddish-style putdown on the social media platform X.



Has the West Succeeded in Containing Houthi Red Sea Attacks?

This handout photo released by the US Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) shows US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter aircraft of the Carrier Strike Group 2 (CSG2), deployed to support maritime security in the Middle East region, flying over the Red Sea on June 11, 2024. (US Navy/AFP)
This handout photo released by the US Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) shows US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter aircraft of the Carrier Strike Group 2 (CSG2), deployed to support maritime security in the Middle East region, flying over the Red Sea on June 11, 2024. (US Navy/AFP)
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Has the West Succeeded in Containing Houthi Red Sea Attacks?

This handout photo released by the US Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) shows US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter aircraft of the Carrier Strike Group 2 (CSG2), deployed to support maritime security in the Middle East region, flying over the Red Sea on June 11, 2024. (US Navy/AFP)
This handout photo released by the US Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) shows US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter aircraft of the Carrier Strike Group 2 (CSG2), deployed to support maritime security in the Middle East region, flying over the Red Sea on June 11, 2024. (US Navy/AFP)

The US and western powers appear “incapable” of containing the attacks by the Houthis in Yemen against commercial ships in the Red Sea eight months after the Iran-backed militias started launching their operations.

The Houthis have been carrying out drone and missile strikes on shipping lanes since November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza.

The US, UK and European powers have since dispatched missions to the region to counter these attacks with apparent little success as the Houthis have upped their operations, with their strikes even reaching the Mediterranean.

Dr. Najeeb Ghallab, undersecretary at Yemen's Information Ministry, said the West still wrongly believes that the Houthis can be “rehabilitated” and employed to combat terrorism.

US envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking said in April that a military solution was not possible to resolve the problem in Yemen.

Ghallab added that the US, West and even China have “all failed” in containing the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and their threats to international navigation.

“The Houthis are a suicideal phenomenon that is more dangerous than ISIS, the Taliban and al-Qaeda. These groups did not threaten international trade the way the Houthis are doing now. In spite of this, the West is still incapable of taking firm decisions,” he went on to say.

The Houthis are labeled as “reckless”, not “terrorist”, when they violate the interests of the Yemeni people and the entire world, he lamented.

“The Americans have a blind spot in handling the Yemeni file. They are still following Obama’s approach and favoring Iran’s agents in the region,” Ghallab stressed.

The Americans and UK have carried out around 530 strikes against the Houthis since January, leaving 58 of their members dead and 86 injured, according to the militias.

The Houthi attacks have so far hit 27 ships, sinking two.

Ghallab wondered why western powers have yet to strike the Houthi command and control centers. The US is only targeting command and control centers from where the rockets are being fired, but they have yet to attack critical Houthi locations.

Have the western powers struck a deal with the Houthis as part of a plan to legitimize them in Yemen and turn them into a partner with all national powers? he asked.

He dismissed the possibility, stressing that the Houthis are extorting the Arab coalition, legitimate Yemeni government and international community.

Moreover, he warned that the world is facing in the Houthis “an organized and professional terrorist” group, meanwhile, “no one is prepared to support the legitimate powers in Yemen to end the Iran-made crime in the country.”

“The world remains blind when it comes to Yemen. Yes, the Houthis may be claiming victories now, but, at the end of the day, they will be defeated,” he remarked.

Asked about the best way to confront the Houthis, he replied: “The answer may be impossible, but it is simple. We have a real force on the ground in Yemen, not just in regions held by the legitimate government, but in Hodeidah, Saada and Sanaa. Everyone there is looking for salvation from the Houthis.”

“Are foreign powers prepared to support the real forces so that a Yemeni state can be formed?” he wondered, while noting that the West “is opposed to the idea of freedom and revolution in Yemen.”

“This is a western problem, not a Russian or Chinese one. This isn’t a conspiracy,” he went on to say. “Rather, the West is strategically blind to the situation.”