Wednesday, 17 April 2024
WorldSouth Africa sues Israel for genocide before the highest court of the...

South Africa sues Israel for genocide before the highest court of the United Nations

South Africa has initiated proceedings before the International Court of Justice, the main judicial body of the United Nations, in which it alleges violations of the Genocide Convention by Israel against Palestinians in its attacks on the Gaza Strip, where they have already died. more than 21,000 people in less than three months, according to local authorities.

The lawsuit, according to the same statement, says that Israel’s “acts and omissions… are genocidal in nature, as they are committed with the specific intent required… to destroy the Palestinians of Gaza as part of a national group , racial and ethnic issues” and alleges that “Israel’s conduct – through its state organs, state agents and other persons and entities acting on its behalf – in relation to the Palestinians of Gaza, violates its obligations under the Genocide Convention.”

South Africa further asserts that Tel Aviv, since October 7, 2023 in particular – the day on which Hamas committed its attacks on Israeli communities – “has not prevented genocide and has not pursued direct and public incitement to genocide” and that Israel “has committed, is committing and risks continuing to commit genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

The African country’s lawsuit includes precautionary measures to “protect against additional, serious and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention” and “ensure compliance by Israel with its obligations,” which are not to participate in that type of crime, in addition to preventing and punishing it.

In a statement from its Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Johannesburg says it is “gravely concerned about the plight of civilians trapped in the current Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip due to the indiscriminate use of force and the forced eviction of its inhabitants.” ”.

Furthermore, he adds, “there are continuing reports that international crimes, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes, are being committed, as well as reports that acts that reach the threshold of genocide or related crimes have been committed and may continue to be committed, according to are defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in the context of the ongoing massacres in Gaza.”

The decision was made at a special meeting on December 8, in which the South African government cabinet ordered that the International Court of Justice in The Hague be approached for an order ordering Israel, which, like that the African country is also a State Party, “to refrain from any act that could constitute genocide or related crimes under the Convention.”

The lawsuit was filed this Friday and asks the United Nations court to urgently declare that Israel “has failed to comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention” and to “immediately put an end to all acts and measures that fail to comply with said obligations and adopt a series of related measures,” according to the statement.

Israel accuses South Africa of “collaborating” with Hamas

Israel has accused South Africa of “collaborating” with Hamas in what it calls a “baseless” genocide case. “South Africa’s claim lacks a factual and judicial basis and is a despicable and cheap exploitation of the court,” said the Foreign Ministry of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Government, according to local media. Times of Israel. “South Africa is collaborating with a terrorist group that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.”

The lawsuit is the latest move by South Africa, a staunch critic of the offensive against the Gaza Strip, after its lawmakers voted last month to close the Israeli embassy in Pretoria and suspend all diplomatic relations until a settlement was agreed. ceasefire in the war.

What does the convention say?

The International Court of Justice is responsible for resolving legal disputes between States. The Genocide Convention stipulates in its article nine that disputes relating to the interpretation, application or execution of the document, including those relating to the responsibility of a State in matters of genocide, shall be submitted to this court at the request of one of the parties. .

The convention, which dates back to 1948, understands genocide as acts perpetrated with the intent to “destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group,” including the killing of members of the group, serious injury to the physical or mental integrity of the members of the group, the intentional subjection of the group to conditions of existence that must lead to its physical destruction, in whole or in part, measures intended to prevent births within the group and the transfer by force of children from the group to another group.

More than 30 rapporteurs and other United Nations human rights experts denounced last November that the “serious violations” committed by Israel against the Palestinians, especially in Gaza, “point to a genocide in the making” and affirmed that there is evidence of “growing incitement to genocide” in the form of calls for a “second Nakba”, alluding to a possible mass expulsion of Palestinians similar to the one that took place in 1948.

According to Palestinian authorities, Israeli attacks on Gaza have caused the death of at least 21,500 people in Gaza – 70% of them women and children – while thousands are estimated to be missing and dead in the rubble of destroyed buildings. More than 55,000 Palestinians have been injured. According to UNRWA, 1.9 million people in Gaza, or nearly 85% of the population, are internally displaced, including people who have had to move several times to protect themselves from shelling.

Popular content

Latest article

More article