South Africa’s legal action at UN court raises fear in Israel over Gaza genocide

2024-01-01 20:57:34
South Africa’s legal action at UN court raises fear in Israel over Gaza genocide

South Africa’s recent legal action against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has raised fear among the regime’s leaders that they could be charged with genocide against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

South Africa filed an application at the UN court – based in the Hague – on Friday, saying Israel’s military is engaging in “genocidal acts” in Gaza.

The document says the regime is “in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention,” arguing that “acts and omissions by Israel … are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent … to destroy Palestinians in Gaza.”

The Israeli Attorney General’s Office is now concerned the world court will charge the regime with genocide in the Gaza Strip, according to Israel’s newspaper Haaretz.

A senior legal expert dealing with the case warned the military leaders that “there is real danger that the court will issue an injunction calling on Israel to halt its fire, noting that Israel is bound by the court’s rulings.”

“The International Court of Justice has great influence in shaping international law,” Shelly Aviv Yeini, expert on international law, told the newspaper.

“Its recognition of South Africa’s claim may cement the perception that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza.”

The newspaper said the regime's lawyers have already begun preparing to deal with the complaint, and a hearing on the matter will be held at the foreign ministry on Monday.

South Africa’s application asks the ICJ for a hearing to take place next week. It has also asked the court to take “provisional measures,” including that Israel cease its ground and air attacks.

The document says the regime’s actions in Gaza are “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group,” according to the ICJ.

Israel has killed more than 21,670 people, including over 9,000 children, since October 7.

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