South Africa has accused Israel of committing “genocidal conduct” at the International Court of Justice. The accusations were made in regards to the situation in Gaza.
The recent event occurred during the continued and extensive bombing by Israel in the Gaza Strip as a reaction to terrorist attacks by Hamas on October 7th. These attacks resulted in 1,200 Israeli and foreign citizens being killed in southern Israel, and 250 being held hostage.
The South African legal team presented evidence to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, claiming that Israel has engaged in a consistent pattern of genocidal behavior since the start of its full-scale war in Gaza. Gaza, a 365 square kilometer strip of land, has been under Israeli occupation since 1967.
The court was informed that this act of violence is essentially the annihilation of Palestinian lives. It is intentionally carried out, with no one being spared, including innocent newborns.
Adila Hassim emphasized that Israel’s actions had exposed the 2.3 million residents of Gaza to an unprecedented barrage of attacks from all directions, causing the loss of thousands of innocent lives and the devastation of homes and crucial public facilities.
According to a lawyer from South Africa, Israel stopped necessary humanitarian aid from reaching those in need, resulting in a potential risk of death from starvation and disease. This was due to the difficulty of providing assistance while bombs were being dropped.
According to Ms. Hassim’s testimony, Palestinians in Gaza face constant airstrikes no matter where they are. She also mentioned that a large number of individuals have lost their lives and are often buried in mass graves without identification. In addition, she stated that an extra 60,000 Palestinians have been injured and disabled.
People have lost their lives in various locations such as their homes, places of refuge, hospitals, schools, religious buildings, and while searching for basic necessities like food and water for their loved ones. Some have been killed for not being able to leave the areas they sought refuge in, and even if they tried to escape using routes deemed safe by the Israeli government.
In their accusation against Israel, South Africa claims that Gaza was hit with 6,000 bombs during the first week of Israel’s response to the attacks led by Hamas. According to Ms. Hassim, this included the deployment of 2,000-pound bombs at least 200 times in designated safe areas in the southern part of the Strip, as well as in the northern region where refugee camps were situated.
She asserted that these weapons were among the most powerful and damaging bombs in existence. She also stated that genocides are never announced beforehand, but this court has the advantage of 13 weeks of evidence that clearly demonstrates a consistent behavior and associated intent, providing a legitimate argument for the occurrence of genocidal actions.
The ICJ judges were informed that Israel had violated the Genocide Convention, a global treaty created after World War II by United Nations Members to prevent crimes against humanity, due to these actions.
John Dugard, a representative from South Africa, emphasized that the Convention was focused on preserving humanity. He stated that all nations who had ratified the Convention were bound to not only refrain from committing acts of genocide, but also to take measures to prevent them.
The Israeli presentation will take place on Friday during the ongoing hearing.
The leader of human rights, Türk, denies false accusations of ‘blood libel’.
The United Nations’ chief advocate for human rights has supported the condemnation of the Gaza invasion, stating that it is not discriminatory to denounce severe transgressions of global humanitarian laws.
In an article published in Haaretz on Wednesday, Volker Türk strongly denounced the brutal attack initiated by Hamas and other armed factions from Gaza on October 7.
The violent events that followed caused ongoing and severe emotional distress throughout Israel, according to the UN human rights leader. He emphasized that the use of excessive force by the country was marred by serious violations of international laws.
The launching of rockets from Gaza into Israel has persisted, according to Mr. Türk. He expressed disappointment that certain Israeli authorities have attempted to undermine his Office’s worries by labeling them as “blood libel”.
The UN human rights chief emphasized that it is not a false accusation to condemn the lack of accountability for Israeli soldiers and armed settlers who have killed hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank since October 7. Additionally, the ongoing war has raised serious concerns regarding international humanitarian and human rights laws.
Negotiations are ongoing in New York.
At the United Nations headquarters in New York, diplomats are working to find agreement on the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. On Thursday night, they passed a resolution in the Security Council with the goal of managing the effects of the Gaza war.
The Ambassadors insisted that Houthi rebels in Yemen’s Red Sea coast stop attacking international ships. The rebels claim these attacks are in solidarity with Palestinians and Hamas fighters.
A meeting of the Security Council is scheduled for Friday afternoon to address apprehensions about the possible forced removal of Palestinians from Gaza. This request was made by Algeria, a new member of the Council.