Wednesday, June 19, 2024

This Week’s International Court of Justice Hearings

The United States recognizes that, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) plays a vital role in the peaceful settlement of disputes. This week, the ICJ is holding hearings on South Africa’s request that the ICJ exercise its authority to indicate provisional measures requiring Israel to suspend its military operations in Gaza and take other steps to ensure its compliance with the Genocide Convention.

Allegations that Israel is committing genocide are unfounded. In fact, it is those who are violently attacking Israel who continue to openly call for the annihilation of Israel and the mass murder of Jews. Genocide is one of the most heinous acts any entity or individual can commit, and such allegations should only be made with the greatest of care. Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas’ terrorist acts — acts that Hamas has vowed to repeat again and again until Israel is completely destroyed. Israel is operating in an exceptionally challenging environment in Gaza, an urban battlespace where Hamas intentionally embeds itself with and hides behind civilians.

The United States reiterates that it condemns Hamas’ brutal attacks and hostage taking and supports Israel’s right to ensure the terrorist attacks of October 7 cannot be repeated. We have also made clear Israel must not only comply with international humanitarian law in its operations against Hamas, but also look for more ways to prevent civilian harm and to investigate credible allegations of violations of international humanitarian law when they arise. Finally, we continue to condemn dehumanizing rhetoric on all sides.

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