Key takeaways from UN court’s ruling on Israel’s war in Gaza

Political and Legal

The U.N. world court on Friday came down hard on Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, calling on Israel to “take all measures” to prevent a genocide of the Palestinians. But it stopped short of demanding an immediate cease-fire, as the South African sponsors of the case had hoped.

All sides tried to claim victory with the ruling, seizing on different elements that buttressed their positions.

Israel celebrated the court’s rejection of the cease-fire request and said it had endorsed the country’s right to self-defense. Yet harsh criticism of Israel’s campaign in Gaza could further dent its image in the court of public opinion.

The Palestinians welcomed what amounted to an overwhelming rebuke of Israel’s wartime tactics by a lopsided majority of judges over the heavy death toll and humanitarian disaster in Gaza. The six measures in the ruling were approved by margins of 15-2 and 16-1, with even Israel’s representative on the court joining the majority on two of the questions.

As Israel presses ahead with its offensive, Friday’s ruling adds to the growing international criticism of Israel and could put more pressure on it to scale back or halt the operation altogether.

The court did not rule on the core issue of whether Israel’s devastating military offensive against Hamas amounts to genocide. That question likely won’t be answered by the court for years.

But it did not rule out the possibility that Israel is conducting genocidal acts. In imposing “provisional measures,” the court found that concerns about possible genocide merit further review.

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Nicholas C. Minshew - Minshew & Ahluwalia LLP

<Nicholas C. Minshew, Attorney at Law, concentrates his practice in the area of Family Law including divorce, separation, child support, child custody, alimony, division of property, separation agreements, domestic violence, prenuptial agreements, and child support enforcement & modification. Mr. Minshew provides legal services to clients in Washington, D.C., and throughout Maryland, including Montgomery County, Frederick County, and Prince George’s County.

Mr. Minshew obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from the American University, Washington College of Law in 2000, where he worked as an editor for the Administrative Law Review. After receiving his law degree, Mr. Minshew worked as an attorney for the global law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, and for Leonard Street & Deinard LLP representing companies in Federal proceedings. During that time, Mr. Minshew redirected his focus to provide legal services directly to individuals and families.

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