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Updated December 30th, 2023 at 12:38 IST

South Africa files Genocide case against Israel over situation in Gaza, Tel Aviv reacts

As the ongoing Israel-Hamas war intensified, South Africa moved to the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) launching a case against Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa | Image:AP
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Cape Town: As the ongoing Israel-Hamas war intensify, South Africa moved to the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ) launching a case against Israel. According to The Guardian, the African Nation accused the war-stricken country of committing ‘genocide’ in its military campaign in Gaza. South Africa urged the international court to convene in the next few days and issue “provisional measures” calling for a ceasefire in the region. It is important to note that ICJ ordered Russia to halt its offence in Ukraine earlier this year. However, Moscow ignored the order despite the fact that it was legally binding. 

“The acts and omissions by Israel complained of by South Africa 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,” the South African application to open proceedings reads. “Provisional measures are necessary in this case to protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention, which continue to be violated with impunity," the country added. 

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Article IX of the Genocide Convention allows a member nation to file a case against another nation to the ICJ, even if it does not have any direct link to the conflict in question. “Genocidal intent is assumed to be the most difficult element to prove, but Israelis in charge of prosecuting this conflict have made a plethora of statements that easily prove the requisite intent to ‘destroy in whole or in part’ the Palestinian population in Gaza,” Susan Akram, director of the international human rights clinic at Boston University told The Guardian. 

Israel condemns the move 

In a stern response to the subject matter, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat rejected South Africa's accusation and called the move “disgusting”. "Israel rejects with disgust the blood libel spread by South Africa in its application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). South Africa's claim lacks both a factual and a legal basis and constitutes a despicable and contemptuous exploitation of the Court. South Africa is cooperating with a terrorist organization that is calling for the destruction of the State of Israel,” the Israeli official wrote on X, formally known as Twitter.

Haiat made it clear that the Jewish nation is committed to International laws and has abided by them throughout the war. “Israel is committed to international law and acts in accordance with it, and directs its military efforts solely against the Hamas terrorist organization and the other terrorist organizations cooperating with Hamas. Israel has made it clear that the residents of the Gaza Strip are not the enemy, and is making every effort to limit harm to civilians and to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. We call on the International Court of Justice and the international community to completely reject South Africa’s baseless claims,” he added.

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Published December 30th, 2023 at 06:57 IST

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