Israel will face trial for genocide by South Africa before a UN tribunal

Israel will Face Trial for Genocide by South Africa Before a UN Tribunal

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Israel will face trial for genocide by South Africa before a UN tribunal

The ICJ in the Hague, the Netherlands, is the UN’s top court. Image: EPA


Israel will face trial for genocide by South Africa before a UN tribunal.

South Africa has filed a petition before the UN’s International Court of Justice, alleging that Israel is killing Palestinians in Gaza.

Additionally, the submission asks the court to compel Israel to cease its military activities there.

Though it is being closely followed, the ICJ will only provide an opinion on the genocide accusation because this is not a criminal prosecution.

Israel has fiercely denied the charge, calling it unfounded.

Israel’s activities “are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial, and ethnic group,” according to South Africa’s submission.

It states that Israel is “killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction” .

Israel is ordered to stop all military operations in Gaza as one of the “provisional measures” that the court would impose.

“Atrocious and preposterous” is how Israeli President Isaac Herzog described the claims.

“We will be in the International Court of Justice and we will present proudly our case of using self-defence… under humanitarian law,” he stated.

He stated that the Israeli military was “doing its utmost under extremely complicated circumstances on the ground to make sure that there will be no unintended consequences and no civilian casualties” .

The UN court in The Hague, the Netherlands, could make decision on South Africa’s plea for Israel to halt its military assault very soon, but it might take years to reach definitive conclusion about whether Israel is in fact committing genocide.

Although they are not enforceable, ICJ verdicts are theoretically legally binding on parties to the court, such as South Africa and Israel.

Russia disregarded the court’s 2022 ruling to “immediately suspend military operations” in Ukraine.

The ruling African National Congress has long history of supporting the Palestinian cause, and South Africa has been vocal opponent of Israel’s military action in Gaza.

It draws comparisons to its fight against apartheid, the racist regime of segregation and discrimination against the black majority in South Africa up until the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, which was implemented by the white-minority government.

Based on information from the Hamas run Health ministry, since the conflict started in response to Hamas’s strikes on southern Israel on October 7, more than 23,350 individuals have died in Gaza.

Approximately 240 individuals were taken hostage and 1,300 people, mostly civilians, were killed in those attacks.

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