President Dr Mohamed Muizzu has expressed his approval of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) order of preliminary measures in response to South Africa’s application regarding Israel’s alleged breach of the 1948 “Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

The ICJ, in its decisive ruling, has mandated that Israel must take immediate steps to prevent the commission of genocide in the Gaza Strip. These measures include ensuring that its military refrains from engaging in such acts and preventing any incitement to genocide. Additionally, Israel has been instructed to promptly facilitate the provision of essential services and humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

President Muizzu emphasised the need for Israel to cease hostilities in Gaza and implement an immediate ceasefire, highlighting the intrinsic value of every human life. He firmly stated that bombings, displacement, and apartheid will not contribute to lasting peace.

The Government of Maldives has called upon Israel to adhere to all provisional measures prescribed by the ICJ and uphold international law. The Maldives stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine, advocating for a just and enduring solution through the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State, with pre-1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.

The International Court of Justice issued its ruling concerning the emergency measures sought by South Africa in its genocide case against Israel, primarily related to the situation in the Gaza Strip. However, notably, the court refrained from ordering an immediate ceasefire.

Judge Donoghue, in a comprehensive announcement, underscored the court’s jurisdiction in the case and addressed key aspects of the alleged genocide. Israel has been directed to report back within one month on the measures taken to prevent genocide and increase humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip. Importantly, the ICJ did not make a definitive ruling on the merits of the genocide allegations, leaving this aspect open for future deliberation.

While the ruling aligns with most of South Africa’s arguments, there is lingering dissatisfaction over the absence of certain provisional measures requested by South Africa. Nevertheless, the ICJ’s decision provides a clear roadmap for specific actions, including Israel’s obligation to submit a report within the stipulated timeframe.

The ICJ’s ruling has identified Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza and the West Bank, as the protected group in this case, acknowledging the challenges of safeguarding their rights amid ongoing military operations.

The ICJ President highlighted senior Israeli officials’ statements, including Defence Minister Yoav Gallant’s directive to impose a “complete siege” on Gaza City and his use of inflammatory language. Additionally, Israel’s President, Isaac Herzog’s attribution of responsibility for the situation to the entire Palestinian nation was noted by the court.

South Africa hailed the ruling as a significant victory for the international rule of law and expressed gratitude to the ICJ for its swift response. South Africa hopes for the prompt implementation of the outlined provisional measures by Israel.

Additional Reporting by Sachitra Mahendra