The International Court of Justice on Thursday ordered Israel to ensure that food supplies are delivered without delay to people in Gaza.

The court also told Tel Aviv to ensure that basic services and humanitarian assistance –including electricity, fuel and shelter – are provided.

The order is legally binding on Israel, but the International Court of Justice does not have a mechanism to enforce the directions.

On January 26, the top United Nations court ordered Israel to take measures to prevent acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip and to allow humanitarian aid into the region.

In its latest order, the court said that since January 26, the “catastrophic living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have deteriorated further, in particular in view of the prolonged and widespread deprivation of food and other basic necessities to which the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been subjected”.

The court observed that Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine, but the famine is setting in. “At least 31 people, including 27 children, [have] already died of malnutrition and dehydration according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,” the judges said.

The court also called on Israel to open more land crossing points into Gaza. It also ordered Tel Aviv to ensure that its military does not commit acts that violate the rights of Palestinians in Gaza as a protected group under the Genocide Convention.

The new directions were issued at the request of South Africa, which submitted a case before the world court accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza.

Israel’s war on Gaza began after Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7 killed 1,200 people. The militant group had also taken over 200 people hostage. Some of the hostages were released in November as part of a brief ceasefire agreement in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel and humanitarian aid.

Since October, Israel has been carrying out unprecedented air and ground strikes on Gaza. The attacks have killed nearly 33,000 people, including more than 13,000 children, according to Al Jazeera. Nearly 75,000 people have been left injured.