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International Law Expert: Expected ICJ Ruling Against Israel May Also Hit U.S.

Destruction of Gaza. CC/Ali Hamad of APAimages, for Wafa

The International Court of Justice can first find, after the initial hearing this week, that there is a “plausible risk” of Israel committing genocidal acts, according to Michelle Kelsall, senior lecturer in international law at the School of Oriental and African Studies University of London, and co-director of the Centre for Human Rights Law. She explained, as reported on Jan. 4 by Arab News: “If the court does determine that there is a plausible risk of genocidal acts being committed, it may order provisional measures in line with what South Africa is requesting, which would be in keeping with recent case law determined by the court. Notably, it does not need to determine if Israel is committing genocidal acts in order for the ‘obligation to prevent’ to be invoked, or to order provisional measures. It is sufficient that a plausible risk of genocide occurring has been proven, based on the evidence presented.”

Such evidence, she added, includes the mass casualties, but also the damage to essential health service, the destruction of homes, blockades preventing the provision of food, water and medical assistance, and widespread expulsions and displacement of Gazans. Such evidence is in the South African 84-page filing. Further, genocidal intent is evidenced by the statements, including Netanyahu’s invoking the “Amalek” story. Included in the filing are 10 pages of Israeli officials making such statements.

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