UK’s Jeremy Corbyn to join South Africa at UN court accusing Israel of genocide

2024-01-10 21:39:29
UK’s Jeremy Corbyn to join South Africa at UN court accusing Israel of genocide

Former U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn will join a South African delegation for this week’s hearings at the International Court of Justice, where the country accuses Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in the war in Gaza, the South African government said Tuesday.

South Africa brought the case against Israel last month, accusing it of intending “to destroy Palestinians in Gaza,” and asked the U.N.'s top court to order Israel to halt its attacks.

South Africa's Justice Ministry said Corbyn was one of a number of “senior political figures from progressive political parties and movements across the globe” who will join the South African delegation at the Hague in the Netherlands for two days of preliminary hearings which begin on Thursday.

Corbyn was the only one of those foreign political figures in its delegation named by the South African government.

Corbyn's was leader of the Labour Party in Britain from 2015 to 2020. He is a longtime supporter of the Palestinian cause and a fierce critic of Israel.

He was suspended from the Labour group in Parliament in 2020, and later barred from running for the party after Britain’s equalities watchdog accused Labour Party officials of committing “harassment and discrimination” against Jews.

Corbyn expressed support for South Africa's case against Israel on Monday and criticized the British government.

"Every day, another unspeakable atrocity is committed in Gaza," he wrote. “Millions of people around the world support South Africa’s efforts to hold Israel to account. Why can’t our government?”

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he stands by Israel as it wages its barbaric and genocidal war in Gaza.

The Israeli regime waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.

Since the start of the US-backed offensive, the Israeli regime has killed at least 23,210 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured more than 59,167 others. Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble.

South Africa's delegation to the Hague will be led by Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola and will also include senior figures from the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Ministry of Justice, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

“We are determined to see the end of the genocide that is currently taking place in Gaza," Lamola said.

Justice Ministry spokesperson Chrispin Phiri delivered a separate statement on video naming the South African delegation while wearing a red and white checkered Palestinian keffiyeh scarf around his neck.

South Africa is not a global diplomatic heavyweight but its decision to open a case against Israel is a reflection of its historic support for the Palestinians that dates back to the days of the late anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

Mandela compared the plight of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank with that of Black South Africans under the apartheid system of forced racial segregation in his own country, which ended in 1994. South Africa has for years referred to Israel as an “apartheid state."

South Africa's ruling African National Congress party remains a strong supporter of the Palestinians. Last month, Mandela's grandson, Mandla Mandela, an ANC lawmaker, hosted officials from the Hamas resistance movement at a conference in South Africa and invited them to a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of his grandfather's death.

Source: AP and news agencies

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