Israel: South Africa sues International Court of Justice for genocide

War in the Middle East
Lawsuit before the International Court of Justice: South Africa accuses Israel of genocide

In view of the catastrophic humanitarian situation and the high number of civilian victims, Israel has recently come under increasing international criticism. photo

© Ariel Schalit/AP/dpa

Are Israeli troops in Gaza committing genocide while fighting Hamas terrorists? Corresponding allegations have now been made by South Africa before the International Court of Justice. Israel vehemently rejects this.

South Africa has accused Israel of genocide against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip at the United Nations’ highest court. The lawsuit filed on Friday with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague also calls for Israel to stop its attacks in Gaza, the ICJ said. South Africa claimed that the actions of the Israeli armed forces had a “genocidal character” as they were aimed at the extermination of Palestinians in the area.

South Africa is citing the UN Genocide Convention in its lawsuit, as both it and Israel have signed the convention. The government in Pretoria has traditionally maintained good relations with the Palestinian territories. South African politicians have repeatedly drawn comparisons to past apartheid policies in their own country.

Israel firmly rejected South Africa’s accusations. “South Africa’s lawsuit has no basis in fact or in law,” a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Friday evening. “South Africa is collaborating with a terrorist organization (Hamas) that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.” Hamas is solely and exclusively responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. When fighting Hamas militarily, Israel is doing everything it can to keep the damage to the civilian population as low as possible.

According to its statute, the ICJ is supposed to resolve conflicts between states as peacefully as possible. His judgments are usually binding. However, the UN judges have no power to force a state to implement it. But you can call on the UN Security Council to take action on the matter.

First hearing possibly within a few weeks

Lawyers in The Hague assume that there could be an initial hearing on South Africa’s claims within a few weeks. If the ICJ then opens corresponding proceedings, it could still be years before a verdict is reached.

The ICJ was last referred to the ICJ in March 2022 by the government in Kiev in connection with the Russian aggression against Ukraine over an alleged violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention. Russia’s lawyers argued at the ICJ that the accusation was untenable. Kiev is trying to abuse the court with false accusations.

Ukraine’s lawsuit accuses Russia of justifying the invasion on the false claim that the Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk needed to be protected from genocide. In reality, it was the Russian troops who committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine. According to experts, this process could also take years. Ukraine is supported by more than 30 other states, including Germany.


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