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    Public hearings against Israeli practices in Palestine begin at the world’s highest court.

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    On Monday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) began holding public hearings on Israeli actions in Palestine.

    The public hearings began in response to the UN General Assembly’s request for an advisory opinion on the legal repercussions of Israel’s policies and actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

    A General Assembly resolution requested that the ICJ investigate the legal repercussions “arising from Israel’s ongoing violation of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination,” as well as the implementation of associated discriminatory legislation and actions.

    According to the court, at least 50 countries will offer arguments on the validity of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian areas.

    South Africa filed a genocide lawsuit against Israel with the ICJ in late December, requesting extraordinary measures to cease the killing in Gaza, where more than 28,600 Palestinians have been killed since October 7.

    On January 26, the court ordered Israel to take “all measures within its power” to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza, but did not impose a ceasefire.

    It also directed Israel to take “immediate and effective” steps to provide desperately needed basic services and humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip.

    A cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas on October 7 killed fewer than 1,200 people, but the subsequent Israeli offensive into Gaza has forced 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement due to acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

    Despite international outrage, Israel is planning a ground invasion of Rafah, which houses over 1.4 million refugees.

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