South Africa's ICJ Genocide Case Against Israel

International Court of Justice Seal - A figure in a blue tunic sits on a grand chair holding a balance. Below is two images of different sides of the Earth. It is suurrounded by a golden circle and many green leaves
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South Africa v. Israel: The Landmark ➡️ ICJ Genocide Case 

Supported by many other nations, South Africa aims to hold Israeli officials accountable for genocidal intent in Israel's war on Hamas and Gaza. The South Africa against the State of Israel proceedings began December 29, 2023 and full hearings were held in The Hague on January 11 and 12, 2024. The case was well presented and will decide whether Israel is in violation of the Genocide Convention for their war crimes and atrocities against Palestinian people.

The genocide case is a historical step in international law which could set a precedent for other atrocities and also have far-reaching implications for those who have committed serious war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Also for any states who are complicit with it. Israel has denied all allegations including genocidal intent and accuses South Africa of serious misinterpretation and cooperating with terrorist organisation Hamas.

South Africa has a special connection to the situation in Gaza as it draws on its own history of overcoming apartheid. Drawing worldwide attention, Better World Info hopes that the outcome of this case sparks greater justice and accountability regarding important issues such as war crimes and our international responsibility to prevent genocidal atrocities from happening in the future.

The ICJ ruling on January 26 stated that Israel must take all measures to protect civilians and avoid genocide, but it fell short of ordering a ceasefire. The ruling is a win for justice and the rule of law, but still allows Israel to continue their military operations in Gaza.

“The International Court of Justice has delivered a landmark ruling to protect Palestinians in Gaza from acts of genocide. Israel is obliged under international law to abide by the Court’s binding judgement and implement all the provisional measures with immediate effect. Israel’s allies, in particular the United States, must also respect the Court’s ruling and refrain from any statements or actions that would undermine the Court’s authority. All parties to the conflict must comply with international humanitarian law and end the suffering of civilians now. The rule of law must be upheld, always.” - Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

One month after proceedings, Israel was required to report back to the court, this report has not yet been published. As of March, the Republic of Ireland has decided to intervene in proceedings as they denounce the blatant violation of humanitarian law by Israel. This announcement comes as Israel prepares for its ground offense in the city of Rafah, a relative safe haven for Palestinian refugees.

As it stands, Israel is still obstructing the provision of essential humanitarian aid and basic services such as fuel and water. Aid missions and trucks remain severely restricted. These actions have been condemned as a violation of the ICJ ruling and Israel is being accused of using starvation as a weapon of war

On May 24, the court ordered an immediate halt to Israel's offensive in Rafah.

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Author: Rachael Mellor, 15.01.24,  updated 25.05.24, licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0

For further reading on the ICJ case see below ⬇️

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