The position of Hamas
Hamas has stated that it will respect a ceasefire if it is determined by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which this Friday will make public its decision on South Africa’s complaint against Israel for genocide against the Palestinians. “If the court in The Hague orders a cease-fire, the Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement will adhere to it as long as the adversary complies,” the group declared in a statement on Thursday, in which it affirmed that it is based on “the basic principles of reciprocity and international law”.
Likewise, the group has assured that it will release the more than 100 hostages it is holding if Israel “frees the Palestinian prisoners it has incarcerated”. It also demands that the Jewish State “end its 18-year siege on Gaza and allow the entry of all (humanitarian) aid necessary for the sustenance of the Palestinian people and their reconstruction.”
The decision of the International Court
The ICJ will meet this Friday in a public session to announce whether it grants the precautionary measures requested by South Africa, which would force Israel to an immediate cease-fire in the Strip – although the Israeli government has no intention of respecting the measure —. The decision is part of the case initiated by South Africa last December 29, in which it accuses Israel of having “genocidal intentions” with respect to the Palestinian population of Gaza with its military offensive. Hearings on the precautionary measures took place on January 11 and 12, with the countries presenting their arguments on the matter. On Thursday, the Israeli government expressed confidence that the court would reject South Africa’s “false and misleading” accusations, even as Benjamin Netanyahu met with the ministers of Justice and Strategic Affairs, as well as the prosecutor general and the head of the General Security Council, to analyze the possible courses of action before the decision to be taken this Friday.
In the application, South Africa asked the ICJ to indicate measures to “protect against greater, grave and irreparable damage to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention”. He also accused Israel of having a “genocidal pattern” in policies towards Palestinians and denounced mass killings, forced displacement and dehumanizing language. For its part, Israel rejected the accusations, justified its war on Gaza as its “inherent right to defend its citizens” from Hamas, warned that the precautionary measures would prevent the rescue of the hostages and blamed South Africa of presenting a “deeply distorted factual and legal picture” to the court.