Reactions across the globe continued to pour in on Saturday, January 27, a day after the International Court of Justice handed down its verdict on Israel’s accusations of genocide in Gaza. While Western reactions offer a mixed picture, the decision is generally well-received in the Arab world.

International reactions poured in on Friday and Saturday, following the landmark decision by the UN’s highest court, calling on Israel in particular to “take all measures in its power” to prevent genocide in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), which sits in The Hague and has no leverage to impose its rulings, also enjoined Israel to take “immediate measures” to enable the delivery of “urgently needed humanitarian aid” to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, without however calling for a ceasefire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the accusations of “genocide” “outrageous”, while Hamas declared the decision “an important development” that “helps to isolate Israel” and “denounce its crimes” in the Gaza Strip.

Contrasting western reactions

The United States reaffirmed that accusations of “genocide” against Israel are “unfounded”, in reaction to the ICJ verdict, enjoining Israel to prevent any possible acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip.

The British Foreign Office expressed its “deep concern” on Saturday in the wake of the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which called on Israel to “take all steps within its power” to prevent genocide in Gaza, in a statement. The statement added, “We respect the role and independence of the ICJ.”

France said it planned to submit “observations” to the ICJ, indicating in particular “the importance it attaches to the Court taking into account the exceptional gravity of the crime of genocide, which requires the establishment of intent”.

“We welcome the decision of the International Court of Justice and call on the parties to apply the provisional measures it has decreed,” said Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez in a message published on the X social network.

The ICJ’s decisions “are binding on the parties and they must comply with them. The European Union looks forward to their full, immediate and effective implementation,” said a joint statement from EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell and the European Commission.

Warm welcome in the Middle East and Africa

The decision is “an important warning (reminding) that no state is above the law,” reacted the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Riyad al-Maliki, in a video message.

South Africa, which had referred the case to the ICJ, hailed a “decisive victory for the rule of international law and an important step in the quest for justice for the Palestinian people,” according to its Foreign Ministry.

Saudi Arabia welcomed the ICJ’s decision concerning Israel, calling on the international community to “hold Israel to account” for its “systematic violations” of international law. For its part, Qatar hailed “a victory for humanity.”

Turkey echoed this sentiment: “I welcome the International Court of Justice’s decision to issue an interim injunction against the inhumane attacks in Gaza,” wrote Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the social network X. “I consider this decision to be precious and I welcome it.”

The Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Saturday welcomed the decision of the International Court of Justice, which called on Israel to prevent any possible acts of “genocide” in Gaza.

“Today, the authorities of the fake Israeli regime… must be brought to justice immediately for committing genocide and unprecedented war crimes against the Palestinians.” said the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

UN Security Council meeting

The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday to consider the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which called on Israel to prevent any possible act of “genocide” in Gaza, the French presidency of the Council has announced.

The meeting, which will take place at 16:00 GMT on Wednesday, was requested by Algeria, “with a view to giving binding effect to the pronouncement of the International Court of Justice on the provisional measures imposed on the Israeli occupation,” the Algerian Foreign Ministry had indicated earlier in the day.

With AFP