Israel Responds to ICJ Ruling with Defiant Stance

Israeli Prime Minister asserts nation's right to ensure security measures.

Tel Aviv: In a defiant declaration in response to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will "decide and act according to what is required for [its] security," the Voice of America (VOA) reported.
His remarks came in response to the ICJ rebuke of Israel regarding the extent of death and destruction in Gaza amid the ongoing war with Hamas.

In a majority ruling of at least 15 out of 17 judges, the ICJ ordered Israel to prevent acts of "genocide" against the Palestinians and do more to help civilians.
Since the ICJ ruling, Israel's military has been under increasing scrutiny to comply with the court's report.
The court's binding ruling, however, stopped short of ordering a cease-fire, VOA reported.
Earlier on Saturday, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz called for the United Nations' refugee agency for Palestinians, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to be "replaced with agencies dedicated to genuine peace and development" after allegations that members of its staff were involved in the October 7 terror attacks by Hamas.
So far, nine countries have paused funding to the aid agency after Israel's accusations that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the cross-border attack. The refugee agency has opened an investigation into several employees after it severed ties with them.
Agency chief Philippe Lazzarini said it would be "immensely irresponsible" to sanction the agency and the community it serves at such a desperate time for Palestinians, especially after the agency swiftly fired the "small group" of staffers.
Meanwhile, 174 Palestinians were killed and 310 were wounded in the past 24 hours, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said on Saturday.
As per the Ministry, at least 26,257 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict in October and 64,797 people wounded.
In Hamas' attack on October 7, 1,200 people were killed in Israel and roughly 240 were taken hostage, according to Israeli authorities. More than 100 were released during a cease-fire in November.
Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire have been pummelling Gaza's southern Khan Younis area. Witnesses said Saturday that three Palestinians were killed in an airstrike that Israel's military says was targeting a Hamas commander in southern Gaza.
Netanyahu has also intensified public pressure on Qatar to broker the release of the hostages in Gaza on Saturday, saying the Gulf emirate should apply the leverage it has as a host and funder of the Hamas militants holding them, VOA reported.
"Qatar hosts the leaders of Hamas. It also funds Hamas. It has leverage over Hamas," Netanyahu said in a televised news conference. "So, they should be so good as to apply their pressure. They positioned themselves as mediators -- so please go right ahead, let them be so good as to bring back our hostages."

( Source : ANI )
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