‘Israel Aims to Destroy Palestinians’ – South Africa Escalates at ICJ

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the UN General Assembly. (Photo: UN website)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

South Africa had submitted all necessary paperwork to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Now, Pretoria is seeking justice for Gaza at the ICJ.  

South Africa filed an application instituting proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), requesting that the court indicate provisional measures, Anadolu News Agency reported on Friday.

The application filed “alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” the ICJ said in a press release.

“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 statement read.

‘Genocide Convention’ 

“The conduct of Israel – through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence – in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention,” the statement added, citing the application.

South Africa also accused Israel of “failing to prevent genocide” and “prosecuting the direct and public incitement to genocide” in the application.

“Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” the African country reportedly said.

The application also requested the ICJ to,

“indicate provisional measures in order to protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention and to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide.”

‘Blood Libel?’ 

Earlier this month, South Africa had submitted all necessary paperwork to the International Criminal Court (ICC), bringing war crime charges against Israel over its genocidal war in Gaza.

Moreover, in November, the country’s lawmakers endorsed a motion to suspend ties with Israel until Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commits to a ceasefire in the besieged Palestinian territory.

In response to Pretoria’s latest move, the Israeli foreign ministry on Friday slammed South Africa’s position as a “blood libel”.

“South Africa’s claim has no factual and judicial basis and is a despicable and cheap exploitation of the court,” the ministry said in a statement, according to The Times of Israel. 

The Israeli ministry further accused Pretoria of “collaborating with a terror group that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 21,507 Palestinians have been killed, and 55,915 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. 

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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