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World Court orders Israel to let humanitarian aid into Gaza 'without delay'

Palestinian children wait to receive food cooked by a charity kitchen amid shortages of food supplies in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on February 20, 2024. (Photo by Reuters)

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has announced new measures, ordering Israel to "ensure, without delay" that humanitarian aid is provided to the Gaza Strip to halt famine.

The order on Thursday comes just two weeks after South Africa requested that the ICJ issue additional provisional measures against Israel in light of reports of widespread starvation.

South Africa hauled Israel before the ICJ, also called the World Court, late last year declaring that the regime was committing genocide in the war on Gaza. 

In January, the ICJ issued an interim ruling on the emergency measures requested by South Africa, ordering Israel to take all measures to prevent genocide in Gaza, but stopped short of ordering a ceasefire.

The ICJ said Thursday Israel must take "all necessary and effective measures to ensure, without delay, in full cooperation with the United Nations, the unhindered provision at scale by all concerned of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance.”

Since January 26, it said, “the catastrophic living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated further, in particular in view of the prolonged and widespread deprivation of food and other basic necessities to which the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been subjected."

The additional measures run counter to Israel's claim that it is not blocking aid deliveries to Gaza. The court unanimously mandated Israel to increase the number of land crossings into Gaza and keep them open for "as long as necessary."

It also ordered Israel to ensure with "immediate effect that its military does not commit acts which constitute a violation of any of the rights of the Palestinians in Gaza as a protected group” under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The ICJ said Israel must submit a report on all measures it has taken to comply with this order, within one month from the date of the order.

The UN and other aid agencies have warned of imminent famine due to Israel's prevention of the land-based delivery of life-saving aid to Gaza.

Israel unleashed its war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for the regime's intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people. 

The Tel Aviv regime has also imposed a “complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed more than 32,500 Palestinians and injured nearly 75,000 others.

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