UN chief expresses hope Israel will “duly comply” with ICJ ruling on war-ravaged Gaza

The United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has voiced hope that Israel will "duly comply" with the ruling from the International Court of Justice ordering it to take action to prevent acts of genocide being carried out in war-torn Gaza.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the Secretary General told reporters in New York that Guterres had taken note of the orders from the UN’s top court, which made the ruling as part of a genocide case brought by South Africa.

In the statement, Guterres reiterated the legally binding nature of ICJ decisions, adding that he trusts “that all parties will duly comply with the Order from the Court”.

The UN chief has repeatedly called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, expressing deep concern about the “unprecedented” number of civilian casualties and the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in the enclave.

In a rebuke of Israel, the ICJ on Friday said Israel must “take all measures” to limit the death and destruction caused by its campaign in Gaza but stopped short of calling for a ceasefire.

The ICJ’s decisions are binding and cannot be appealed, but it has no way of enforcing them. Israel previously indicated it would not abide by the ruling.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, killing at least 26,257 Palestinians and injuring 64,797 others. Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli war has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while more than half of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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