South Africa accuses Israel of violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention
01/02/2024 // Kevin Hughes // Views

South Africa has filed a plea before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, alleging that Israel's actions in Gaza amount to "genocide" and asking for "provisional measures" to stop it, the top United Nations (UN) court announced on Friday, December 29.

The appeal claims "acts and omissions by Israel are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent ... to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group," the ICJ said in a statement.

The government in Pretoria said Israel's action toward the Palestinians in Gaza "is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention." (Related: Turkey files lawsuit against Netanyahu, accusing him and Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza.)

They also charged Israel of having "failed to prevent genocide" and "failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide" since October 7.

South Africa also requested the ICJ to "indicate provisional measures" to "protect against further, severe and irreparable harm" to Palestinians under the Genocide Convention.

The ICJ also released the 84-page document that records these measures in detail. The first of them is for Israel to "immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza."

Pretoria also requires West Jerusalem to halt all assaults on Palestinians and to cancel any orders whose objective is "the expulsion and forced displacement from their homes" or denial of access to food, water, fuel, shelter, medical supplies and other humanitarian needs.

The appeal asserts that anyone who deals with "direct and public incitement" to genocide or conspiracy to do it must be brought to justice.

South Africa required Israel to provide a report agreeing with all these demands within one week.

South Africa wants to charge Israel with war crimes

Per the ICJ's rules, South Africa's appeal has priority over all other cases because of the demand for provisional measures. South Africa had earlier wanted to charge Israel with war crimes before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Both South Africa and Israel are signatories of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was first adopted in 1948, in answer to the Nazi mass murder of Jews during World War II.

South Africa has been a huge critic of Israel's military operation in Gaza. Many in the country led by President Cyril Ramaphosa have compared Israel's policies concerning Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank with South Africa's apartheid government in the past.

Nonetheless, Israel has denied the allegations.

South Africa requested The Hague-based court to issue a provisional order for Israel to stop right away its military operations in Gaza. A hearing into that request is possible in the coming days or weeks. The case, if it gets going, will take years, but an interim order could be issued within weeks.

The Israeli government dismissed "with disgust" the genocide allegations, calling it a "blood libel."

A statement from Israel's foreign ministry said South Africa's case lacks a legal foundation and represents a "despicable and contemptuous exploitation" of the court. Israel also charged South Africa of collaborating with Hamas, the Palestinian militant group behind the bloody Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel that provoked the ongoing war.

The statement also said Israel acts based on international law and concentrates its military actions alone against Hamas, adding that the people of Gaza are not an enemy. It claimed that it takes steps to diminish harm to civilians and to permit humanitarian aid to enter the territory.

While the court's orders are legally binding, they are not always observed. In March 2022, the court ordered Russia to cease hostilities in Ukraine, a binding legal ruling that Moscow defied as it moved ahead with its assaults.

South Africa's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the nation is "gravely concerned with the plight of civilians caught in the present Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip due to the indiscriminate use of force and forcible removal of inhabitants."

The ministry went on to say that there are "ongoing reports of international crimes, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes, being committed as well as reports that acts meeting the threshold of genocide or related crimes as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, have been and may still be committed in the context of the ongoing massacres in Gaza."

Ramaphosa previously charged Israel with war crimes and acts "tantamount to genocide."

Follow for news about the relentless Israeli bombings in Gaza.

Watch the video below about why the ongoing Gaza genocide shows the pure character of the Israeli government.

This video is from the channel The Prisoner on

More related articles:

Russia condemns Israel's genocide in Gaza: "Innocent people are being killed indiscriminately."

Israel's GENOCIDE in Gaza leads to rising global pro-Palestine sentiment.

Israel admits willingness to inflict "mass civilian casualties" in Gaza - GENOCIDE is the endgame.

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