UN Security Council to discuss ICJ ruling in Israel genocide case

Top UN court ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians but didn’t call for a ceasefire.

UNSC emergency meeting on Jerusalem
The UN Security Council meeting is scheduled to take place on Wednesday [File: Richard Drew/AP Photo]

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is to meet next week over the decision by the global body’s top court calling for Israel to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza.

The meeting scheduled for Wednesday was called by Algeria, whose Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would give a “binding effect to the pronouncement of the International Court of Justice on the provisional measures imposed on the Israeli occupation”.

The ICJ on Friday said Israel must prevent genocidal acts in its war with Hamas and allow aid into Gaza, but stopped short of calling for an end to the fighting.

The decision “gives the clear message that in order to do all the things that they are asking for, you need a ceasefire for it to happen”, said Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN.

Algeria, the Arab representative on the council, requested the meeting late on Friday after a closed-door discussion of the UN’s 22-member Arab group.

“So fasten your seat belts,” Mansour said, hinting that the Arab group would push for a halt in the fighting.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from the UN in New York, said diplomatic sources indicated that the proposal by Algeria is likely to call for an immediate truce.

“All eyes now turn to the Security Council,” he said, adding that the country’s move is highly anticipated.

US veto

The UNSC, long divided on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, has only agreed to two resolutions since the October 7 Hamas attacks that led to Israel’s massive offensive on the Gaza Strip.

In December, it demanded aid deliveries “at scale” to Gaza’s besieged population, while Israel’s ally, the United States, has kept out calls for a ceasefire despite international pressure.

Hamas’s October 7 attacks killed about 1,140 people in Israel, according to authorities.

Palestinian fighters also seized about 250 people and Israel says 132 of them remain in Gaza, including the bodies of at least 28 of them.

Israel has promised to crush Hamas and launched a military offensive that the Ministry of Health in Gaza says has killed at least 26,257 people, about 70 percent of them women and children.

The ICJ, based in The Hague, while refraining from ordering an immediate halt to the almost four-month-old war, said Israel must do everything to “prevent the commission of all acts within the scope” of the 1948 UN Genocide Convention.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the ICJ ruling and said his country will continue to defend itself and its citizens while adhering to international law.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies