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23 July, 2024
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South Africa accuses Israel of genocide in urgent ICJ appeal

International Court of Justice set to hear allegations as Israel breaks decades-old boycott


South Africa has urgently petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to intervene and prevent potential genocide by Israel in Gaza, specifically calling for a cessation of combat operations. This move has sparked significant international attention and debate. Israel, which has historically avoided the ICJ, has opted to defend itself in this case.

The initial hearing at The Hague is slated for January 11 and 12. Historically, the ICJ has issued provisional rulings promptly, often while conflicts are ongoing. South Africa's 80-page claim cites specific acts and omissions by Israel that it alleges are genocidal in intent towards Palestinians in Gaza.

The request for provisional relief allows South Africa to present evidence without fully proving Israel's violations under the genocide convention, potentially streamlining the court's initial assessment. However, past compliance rates with ICJ provisional measures have been mixed, raising questions about the practical impact of any ruling.

Israel faces reputational risks, given its decision to engage with a UN-affiliated body and its status as a signatory to the genocide convention. The case is complex, with Israel emphasizing its right to self-defense and measures taken to minimize civilian casualties. Conversely, South Africa points to specific incidents and statements by Israeli officials as evidence of genocidal intent.

The court's decision could have far-reaching implications, both legally and diplomatically, and may influence international perceptions of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Cyprus  |  South Africa  |  Israel  |  genocide  |  Palestine

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