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Gaza war: UN top court orders Israel to “ensure unhindered provision” of essential supplies

Yazan al-Kafarna lies at a hospital in Rafah, Mar. 3, 2024. He died due to what his doctor said was extreme muscle wastage caused primarily by a lack of food.   -  
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Hatem Ali/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


In a legally binding order, the top United Nations court instructed Israel to "take all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full co-operation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance [...] to Palestinians throughout Gaza".

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague issued Thursday (Mar.28) two new provisional measures in a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of acts of genocide in its military campaign launched after the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.

The RULING comes after South Africa sought more provisional measures, including a cease-fire.

Israel, which had urged the court not to issue new orders, says it places no limits on aid entering the enclave; while the U.N. and international aid groups say deliveries have been impeded by Israeli military restrictions, ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order.

The ICJ also ordered Israel to immediately ensure that its military does not take action that could harm Palestinians' rights under the Genocide Convention.

The court told Tel-Aviv to report back in a month on its implementation of the orders.

Palestinian militant group Hamas said the ruling must be enforced by the international community.

It comes after the UN security council passed a first binding resolution demanding a ceasefire during Ramadan in Gaza.

The U.N. has reported that 100% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are at severe levels of food insecurity.

The court said in its 3-page-long order that “Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine ... but that famine is setting in." It cited a report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that said at least 31 people, including 27 children, have already died of malnutrition and dehydration.

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