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Unknown Facts About South Africa Case Against Israel

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) based in Hague, Netherlands is holding a hearing that will consider whether Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. South Africa and Israel both are signatures to the 19498 genocide convention. ICJ is the UN’s top legal body and it was established after the Second World War in theory the court’s rulings are binding to the disputing states, but are not enforceable. 

South Africa’s argument Israel breached the 19498 genocide Convention, but Israel has strongly rejected the accusations brought by South Africa to the court claiming it is acting in self-defense. On Thursday, South Africa will present its case while Israel will follow with their case on Friday. Two Ad hoc judges are sworn in one from each country as they have the right to do.

According to the Hamas-run government media office around 300,000 housing units were damaged, and 70,000 are uninhabitable. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) 85% of the population is displaced. South Africa aims to make judges demand an immediate cease of its military aggression against GAZA that led to a huge number of Palestinian civilians killed or forced to move out from their area due to the destruction caused by its army.

South Africa is using Israeli politician's statements as an argument for the intent of genocide. Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog said “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible. This rhetoric about civilians not being aware, and not being involved, is not true. They could have risen; they could have fought against that evil regime”. Likud lawmaker Nissim Vaturi said in a post on X” We all have one common goal — erasing the Gaza Strip from the face of the earth. Those who are unable will be replaced.”

Israel argues it is Hamas who started this unprovoked war and killed 1200 Israelis. Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated many times the war will not stop until Hamas is destroyed or gets out of the Gaza Strip.

South Africa must prove Israel planned and had the intention for genocide in Gaza. South Africa will aim for provisional measures designed to curb Israel’s military campaign. Israel can ignore the court ruling but such calls from the UN’s top legal body could add to the pressure mounting against Israel to act differently.

The court has a long history of ruling case that takes years to reach a verdict, but South Africa is looking to get provisional measures derived from Article 41 of the ICJ Statute “The Court shall have the power to indicate, if it considers that circumstances so require, any provisional measures which ought to be taken to preserve the respective rights of either party”


Image: BBC News, The Washington Post, CNN

Edited by: Megha Siddapura Manjunatha


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Tags: Israel South Africa ICJ


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