UN court to deliver interim ruling on Gaza genocide case

The United Nations' top court is set to weigh in on the fighting in Gaza. It will rule on Friday whether to hand down emergency measures, which would serve as a kind of restraining order to prevent more violence.

South Africa filed the case last month at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, accusing Israel of genocide and asking the judges to order an immediate stop to the offensive.

Israel says it has a right to protect itself and argues that the guilt lies with Hamas militants. The judges are not expected to deal with the genocide question on Friday. That process could take years. Instead, they will look at interim measures that could include a ceasefire.

Anne Lagerwall, a professor at the University Libre de Bruxelles, spoke to NHK about the case. She said, "There is, I think, growing attention on this provision of measures and they are compulsory. That is very clear. States have to respect them." She added, however, that countries sometimes do not respect them.

Two years ago, the court ordered provisional measures against Russia after it launched its invasion of Ukraine. It asked Russian leaders to suspend the war but has no mechanism to enforce the order.