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PHR Calls on Israel to Abide by International Court of Justice Ruling, Protect Health and Human Rights

Today the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts of genocide and take effective action to ensure the provision of “urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance” to address the “public health disaster” in Gaza.  

“Complying with the ICJ’s provisional measures is a crucial step towards ensuring the protection of life, health, and human rights in Gaza,” said Sam Zarifi, JD, executive director at PHR. “As the occupying authority in Gaza, Israel must abide by the ICJ’s order and urgently provide humanitarian assistance.”  

“Gazans are enduring a public health crisis now and an even greater health catastrophe looms,” said Zarifi. “Israeli authorities must work to rebuild the decimated health infrastructure and stave off public health crises like famine and infectious disease outbreaks.” 

The Court’s order highlights the devastation wrought on Gaza’s health system and widespread violations of the right to health. United Nations officials cited by the ICJ note that “some 180 Palestinian women are giving birth daily amidst this chaos. People are facing the highest levels of food insecurity ever recorded. Famine is around the corner.” 

PHR echoes the ICJ’s calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages captured on October 7 by Hamas.  

“The case before the ICJ did not directly address accountability for violations of the laws of war and human rights law by Hamas and other armed groups, but there must be accountability for these violations,” said Zarifi. “All parties to the conflict must abide by international law; atrocities by one side do not justify atrocities by the other. Israeli and Palestinian authorities must cooperate with independent international investigators.”

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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