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Top UN court throws out Nicaragua's Gaza 'genocide' request, martyrs' toll at 34,535

Top UN court throws out Nicaragua's Gaza 'genocide' request, martyrs' toll at 34,535
April 30, 2024 Web Desk

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) - The UN's top court Tuesday threw out Nicaragua's request for emergency measures to stop Germany sending military supplies to Israel becuase of its action in the Gaza war.

International Court of Justice presiding judge Nawaf Salam said the circumstances presented to the court did not warrant "provisional measures". Nicaragua hauled Germany before the ICJ to demand emergency measures to stop Germany sending Israel weapons and other assistance that could be used in the devastating Gaza war. Nicaragua accused Germany of violating the 1948 international genocide convention.

Nicaragua targeted Germany rather than Israel's main ally, the United States, because Washington did not recognise ICJ jurisdiction in the case, Managua's lawyers said.

On the other hand, the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Tuesday that at least 34,535 people have been martyred in the Palestinian territory during almost seven months of war between Israel and Hamas. The tally includes at least 47 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 77,704 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war broke out when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.

Gaza genocide claims

In another procedure, South Africa accused Israel -- which like the United States is not a member of the court -- of perpetuating genocide in the Gaza Strip. Israel "categorically" denies the South African accusations, which include responsibility for starvation.

In that case, the court called on Israel to do everything in its power to prevent genocide and recently ordered the country to "ensure urgent humanitarian assistance" in Gaza without delay. Though ICJ decisions are binding, the court has no mechanism to enforce them. For example, it ordered Russia to cease its invasion of Ukraine, in vain.

Arms to Israel

Lawyers from the two countries clashed at the court this month, with Nicaragua saying Germany was "pathetic" for providing weapons to Israel and aid to Gazans. Berlin responded that Israel's security was at the "core" of its foreign policy and that Nicaragua had "grossly distorted" Germany's supply of military aid to Israel.

"Germany only supplies arms based on a meticulous scrutiny that far exceeds the demands of international law," said Tania von Uslar-Gleichen, a German representative to the ICJ.

Those supplies are "subject to a continuous evaluation of the situation on the ground", she added. Nicaragua requested five emergency measures, including that Germany "immediately suspend its aid to Israel, in particular its military assistance including military equipment".

The judges agreed with Berlin, saying "the court notes that Germany states that it has fulfilled the obligation incumbent on states parties to the Genocide Convention to prevent the occurrence of genocide."

In fact, it noted that "as stated by Germany" there had been a significant decrease in its supply of military material since November 2023.