South Africa files against Israel at UN court for “genocidal acts” in Gaza

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South Africa filed a case on Friday in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel for its “genocidal” acts in Gaza.

The case claims “alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the ‘Genocide Convention’) in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” according to an ICJ press release.

In its application to the UN court, South Africa said that “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.”

South Africa also said that “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.”

“Israel, since 7 October 2023 in particular, has failed to prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide” and that “Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” said the South African application.

South Africa urged the UN court to take “provisional measures” to “protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention.”

It also called on the ICJ for measures “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide.”

The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the UN Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946.

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