Israel in the dock as International Court of Justice takes up genocide case – World


• Adverse ruling in case introduced by South Africa might have ‘important symbolic’ influence
• Blinken presses Tel Aviv to keep away from harming civilians in Gaza

THE HAGUE: Israel and South Africa face off at the UN’s high court docket from Thursday, after Pretoria accused Israel of “genocidal acts” in Gaza, prices the Israelis have dismissed as “blood libel”.

In an 84-web page submission to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), South Africa urged judges to order Israel to “instantly droop its army operations” in Gaza.

South Africa alleges that Israel “has engaged in, is participating in, and dangers additional participating in genocidal acts towards the Palestinian individuals in Gaza”.

Israel has angrily hit again at the accusations, with authorities spokesman Eylon Levy vowing to battle the South African case he described as “absurd blood libel”.

Top officers from the two nations will face off in the ICJ’s Great Hall of Justice housed in the extravagant Peace Palace in The Hague.

The ICJ guidelines on disputes between states and whereas its choices are legally binding, it has restricted energy to implement them. The court docket may in concept order Israel to cease its invasion however it’s extremely uncertain it will be obeyed.

In March 2022, the ICJ ordered Russia to “instantly droop” its invasion of Ukraine — a directive Moscow has ignored. Johann Soufi, a lawyer and worldwide justice knowledgeable, stated there can be an “extraordinarily important symbolic influence” if the court docket dominated towards Israel.

“Of course there may be the drawback of implementing the determination. But at the finish of the day, worldwide justice is all there may be left,” stated Soufi, who labored for the UN company for Palestinian refugees in Gaza.

’Criminally complicit

South Africa has filed the case towards Israel as a result of each nations have signed the UN Genocide Convention, created in 1948 as a response to the Holocaust.

Any nation that has signed the conference can sue one other at the ICJ in the event that they disagree on the “interpretation, software or fulfilment” of the guidelines designed to forestall genocide.

South Africa stated it was “acutely conscious of the explicit weight of accountability in initiating proceedings towards Israel for violations of the Genocide Convention”. It additionally “unequivocally” condemned the Hamas assault, however stated “no armed assault… irrespective of how critical… can present any attainable justification for breaches” of the Genocide Convention.

Pretoria’s case is that Israeli motion in Gaza is “meant to result in the destruction of a considerable half of the Palestinian nationwide, racial and ethnical group”. It says Israel’s “genocidal acts” stem from the killing of 1000’s of Palestinians in Gaza, pressured displacement, and stopping satisfactory support entry, ensuing in hunger.

South Africa needs the ICJ to impose so-known as “provisional measures”, or emergency actions, whereas the broader case is being thought of — which might most likely take years.

Other measures requested by South Africa embody reparations and reconstruction of Gaza, plus the protected return of displaced Palestinian refugees.


Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday urged Israeli leaders to keep away from harming civilians and instructed them creation of a Palestinian state was the key to an extended-time period resolution.

Blinken is on his fourth go to to the Middle East since Israel started its offensive towards Gaza in October.

The Israeli air and floor assault has now killed 23,210 Palestinians and worldwide concern is mounting.

Blinken met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Tel Aviv’s Kirya army base, after which with Netanyahu’s warfare cupboard.

The US diplomat careworn “the significance of avoiding additional civilian hurt and defending civilian infrastructure in Gaza,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated.

Earlier, Blinken held talks in Jordan, Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and stated that Washington’s Arab allies wished nearer relations with Israel however provided that that included a “sensible pathway” to a Palestinian state.

Published in Dawn, January tenth, 2024

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