In a noteworthy session at The Hague, Netherlands, on the morning of January 11th, 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) convened to deliberate on the unfolding crisis in Gaza. At the behest of South Africa, proceedings have commenced under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on Genocide, positing the grave accusation that Israel is perpetrating genocide within the Gaza Strip.
The South African delegation, invoking the urgency of the situation, fervently presented their case to the ICJ, seeking immediate measures to address the dire circumstances.
Against the backdrop of Hamas’ non-state entity status precluding legal recourse at the ICJ, South African representatives underscored their moral obligation to advocate for the plight of Gaza before the international tribunal. Attorneys and legal experts, both South African and international, meticulously delineated the harrowing plight endured by the Palestinian populace in Gaza amid Israeli counter-attacks.
Emphatically championing the cause, the South African Minister of Justice emphasized that no purported provocation can justify the egregious events transpiring in Gaza, underscoring the gravity of the situation. Unwavering in their stance, the South African legal team asserted their belief that Israel is engaging in a deliberate campaign of genocide in Gaza, citing damning pronouncements from Israeli ministers and military personnel.
While the ICJ refrains from immediate pronouncement on the veracity of the purported genocide, South Africa urges the court to expeditiously decree nine urgent measures to be implemented within a week of their enactment. Among these difficult measures, South Africa implores the court to mandate the cessation of Israeli military operations, unfettered access to humanitarian aid, and the preservation of evidence about the alleged genocide.