Courtroom and bench of International Court of Justice, principal judicial organ of the United Nations, located at The Hague. (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)


Although Israel is not a party to the ICJ and rejects its jurisdiction, an injunction could be enforced by the UN Security Council.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

The International Court of Justice announced on Thursday it will issue a ruling on Israel’s military activities on Friday. An injunction could potentially set the stage for a showdown between Israel and the United Nations Security Council.

South Africa petitioned the court on May 17 to issue an immediate injunction against army operations, claiming Israel is committing “genocide” against the Palestinian people.

Israel accused South Africa of “distorting the truth,” “abusing court procedures,” and seeking to assist Hamas for political reasons. The Israeli delegation also argued that South Africa is trying to get the ICJ to “micromanage” the war, which is beyond the court’s mandate.

Although Israel is not a party to the ICJ and rejects its jurisdiction, an injunction could be enforced by the UN Security Council.

During hearings in mid-January, South Africa argued to the judges in the Hague that Israel’s military campaign was intended to cause “the destruction of the population” of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli representatives, led by former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, rejected the claims, arguing that Israel has a right to defend itself, respects international law, and that Palestinian casualties were the result of Hamas embedding its tunnels and military infrastructure in civilian areas.

In a provisional ruling issued on January 26, the ICJ ordered Israel by a vote of 15-2 to “take all measures” to prevent “genocide” in Gaza, but did not order the implementation of a ceasefire.

Legal experts said it could take years for a final ruling on whether Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians. However, a ruling on the genocide claim, while legally binding, would be difficult to enforce.

Meanwhile, Israeli leaders are bracing for the possibility that the International Criminal Court, will approve Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan’s request to issue arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, along with Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh and Mohammed Deif.

A three-judge panel will rule on Khan’s request, but it isn’t clear when.

Although both the ICC and ICJ are based in the Hague, they are separate courts. Israel is not a party to the ICC.

At least 1,200 people were killed, and 252 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the 128 remaining hostages, some 40 are believed dead.

Do You Love Israel? Make a Donation - Show Your Support!

Donate to vital charities that help protect Israeli citizens and inspire millions around the world to support Israel too!

Now more than ever, Israel needs your help to fight and win the war -- including on the battlefield of public opinion.

Antisemitism, anti-Israel bias and boycotts are out of control. Israel's enemies are inciting terror and violence against innocent Israelis and Jews around the world. Help us fight back!