Hours after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to take measures to prevent genocide in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said on Friday that the judges ruled in favour of “humanity and international law”, Reuters reported.

The top United Nations court, in an interim ruling, said that Israel must prevent and punish incitement to genocide in Gaza. Further, Tel Aviv must allow humanitarian aid into the region, it said. The court, however, stopped short of ordering a ceasefire in the region.

Maliki urged all countries to ensure that the provisional measures ordered by the court were implemented, including by Israel. The order constitutes a binding legal obligation, the minister noted.

“The ICJ order is an important reminder that no state is above the law,” Maliki said. “It should serve as a wake-up call for Israel and actors who enabled its entrenched impunity.”

The International Court of Justice passed the interim order in response to a case filed by South Africa, which alleged that Israel violated its obligations under the Genocide Convention. The convention states that genocide is a crime under international law and mandates that all countries will prevent its recurrence.

After the verdict on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his government would “continue to do what is necessary to defend our country and defend our people”. However, he added: “Our war is against Hamas terrorists, not against Palestinian civilians.”

At the same time, Netanyahu claimed that his country’s commitment to international law was “unwavering”.

He reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself, adding that “the vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state, and it was justly rejected.”

Netanyahu described the allegation that Israel carried out genocide as “false” and “outrageous”.

A senior official from Palestinian militant group Hamas, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that the world court’s ruling was “an important development that contributes to isolating the [Israeli] occupation and exposing its crimes in Gaza”, Reuters reported.

South Africa’s foreign ministry said that the ruling serves as “a significant milestone” in Palestine’s struggle for justice.

“There is no credible basis for Israel to continue to claim that its military actions are in full compliance with international law, including the Genocide Convention, having regard to the Court’s ruling,” said the foreign ministry.

The International Court of Justice is based in the Hague, Netherlands, and is the legal body of the United Nations. The court settles disputes between states and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues.

South Africa had urged the international court to issue provisional measures calling for a ceasefire. The merits of the case of genocide will take years to decide.

More than 25,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7 amid Israel’s war on the besieged region. The war, triggered after the attack on southern Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas, has entered its 12th week. Hamas’ attack on Israel had killed 1,200 people and the group had taken more than 200 hostages.

Israel often boycotts international tribunals and investigations by United Nations agencies, claiming that they are biased. However, this time, it decided to send a high-level legal team to the top United Nations court to defend its actions in Gaza.