One month after the ICJ’s Provisional Measures, Israel continues its illegal actions in Gaza. The EU must take immediate actions or be complicit in Israeli crime

On 26 January 2024, the International Court of Justice published a landmark ruling determining that it was plausible that acts of genocide may be taking place in Gaza. This ruling not only identified Israel’s actions but also outlined a set of Provisional Measures that Israel was required to adhere to. These included preventing the commission of genocidal acts, preventing and punishing public incitement to genocide, ensuring aid and services reach Palestinians and submitting a report to the ICJ within one month of the order on measures taken to give effect of the above. Importantly, the ICJ’s decision carries binding implications, placing legal obligations on both Israel and third-party states. 

Despite the passage of a month since the ruling, Israel has failed to comply with the prescribed measures. Instead, the situation has deteriorated, with a significant escalation in violence. Since 26 January Israel killed an additional 3,524 Palestinians and injured 5,266 others. The bombings continued as before, as did the military actions on the ground, targeting both civilian and civilian structures, including medical facilities. of particular concern is the ongoing assault on Rafah, where a large population of internally displaced persons has sought refuge, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. 

Moreover, the blockade imposed on Gaza has exacerbated conditions, leading to widespread starvation and disease. 378 thousand individuals are under the gravest risk of starvation according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. On 13 February, UNRWA reported an outbreak of hepatitis A and diarrhea, and the World Health Organization reported, among other diseases, 300 thousand cases of acute respiratory infections between October 16 and February 13. 

In terms of aid delivery, there has been a notable decline since the issuance of the Provisional Measures, with fewer trucks entering Gaza daily, hindering relief efforts. The daily average number of trucks entering Gaza fell from a daily average of 156 between 12-25 January to 134 between 26 of January and 8 of October, reaching only 55 daily trucks on average between 9 and 22 February. Minimal aid has reached Northern Gaza, with organizations such as UNRWA being unable to provide relief to the region since 23 January. This situation was worsened by the Israeli government deliberate hindrance to the delivery of aid.  

Regarding incitement, only two days after the publication of the Provisional Measures, minister Itamar Ben-Gvir attended a conference in Jerusalem calling for the displacement of Palestinian from Gaza, while communications minister Shlomo Karhi called for the “voluntary emigration” of Gazans. No charges were pressed on incitement of genocide. 

 Israel’s actions contravene the ICJ’s directives, perpetuating potential acts of genocide while impeding humanitarian assistance to Gaza. In response, we urge the European Union and its member states to exert pressure on Israel to comply with the ICJ’s decision, employing appropriate accountability measures for any failure to adhere to its obligations. Additionally, a comprehensive review of all commercial, military, and political agreements with Israel, including the EU-Israel Association Agreement, is warranted to ensure they do not inadvertently support genocidal efforts. Support for the International Criminal Court’s investigation into these matters is crucial to ensure accountability for all perpetrators of international crimes. Finally, an immediate, unconditional, and lasting ceasefire is imperative to halt any further potentially genocidal actions and alleviate the suffering of civilians in Gaza.