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South Africa accuses Israel of genocide in Gaza, calls for emergency suspension of its military campaign

South Africa formally accuses Israel of genocide in Gaza at the International Court of Justice on Thursday, demanding an immediate halt to Israel’s military campaign.

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The Hague, Netherlands – South Africa has formally accused Israel of committing genocide in the Gaza Strip. This accusation was made during a session at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where South Africa called for an immediate suspension of Israel’s intense military campaign in the Palestinian enclave.

During the first day of the ICJ hearings, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, representing South Africa at the ICJ, laid out a grave depiction of the situation in Gaza.

According to the Gaza health authorities, the ongoing Israeli offensive has resulted in the destruction of large parts of the coastal region and the death of over 23,000 people and over 59,000 injured — many of whom are women and children.

Ngcukaitobi asserted that the Israeli operation is a calculated attempt to annihilate the population of Gaza, with the intent allegedly rooted at the highest echelons of the Israeli government, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In response, Israel vehemently denied the allegations, labelling them as baseless and accusing South Africa of echoing the voice of Hamas.

Netanyahu defended Israel’s actions, asserting that the state is combating genocide and terrorism, not perpetrating it. He cited heinous crimes committed by terrorists, including mass killings and atrocities against civilians.

“This is an upside-down world — the state of Israel is accused of genocide while it is fighting genocide,” he said in a video statement. “The hypocrisy of South Africa screams to the heavens.”

The case hinges on the 1948 Genocide Convention, to which both Israel and South Africa are signatories. This convention, established in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, defines genocide as actions committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.

The South African delegation pointed to Israel’s sustained bombing campaign and the comments of Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, who referred to the conflict as a battle against “human animals,” as evidence of genocidal intent. These allegations, if proven, would represent a grave violation of international law.

The Israeli offensive, launched in response to a deadly cross-border attack by Hamas militants on 7 October, has led to widespread destruction in Gaza and a humanitarian crisis.

South African Advocate Adila Hassim emphasized the urgent need for an ICJ intervention to halt the ongoing suffering and loss of life.

She also alleged that Israel had also prevented sufficient humanitarian aid from reaching those in need and created the risk of death by starvation and disease because of the impossibility of providing assistance “while bombs fall”

As part of its claim against Israel, South Africa alleges that 6,000 bombs hit Gaza in the first week of the Israeli response to the Hamas-led attacks. This included the use of 2,000-pound bombs at least 200 times “in southern areas of the Strip that were designated as safe”, and in the north, where refugee camps were located, Ms. Hassim said.

These weapons were “some of the biggest and most destructive bombs available”, she maintained, adding that genocides “are never declared in advance, but this court has the benefit of the past 13 weeks of evidence that shows incontrovertibly a pattern of conduct and related intention that justifies a plausible claim of genocidal acts”.

“Every day, there is mounting, irreparable loss of life, property, dignity, and humanity for the Palestinian people,” said Adila Hassim.

“Nothing will stop the suffering, except an order from this court.”

South Africa’s stance is informed by its historical ties to the Palestinian cause, a relationship that dates back to the anti-apartheid struggle and its solidarity with the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

“The violence and the destruction in Palestine and Israel did not begin on October 7, 2023. The Palestinians have experienced systematic oppression and violence for the last 76 years,” said South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola.

The ICJ is expected to rule on emergency measures later this month, though a decision on the genocide allegations will take significantly longer.

This case marks a historic moment for the ICJ, which has never before adjudicated a country as being directly responsible for genocide. The closest precedent was set in 2007, when the court ruled that Serbia had “violated the obligation to prevent genocide” during the July 1995 massacre in Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb forces killed over 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian enclave.

The court’s decisions are final and binding but lack enforcement mechanisms.

Further complicating matters, Israel is scheduled to appear again before the ICJ next month regarding the legality of its policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, following a U.N. request for an advisory opinion.

The hearing continues on Friday with the Israeli’s defence against South Africa’s claims.

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Can Africa called it genocide when both countries are at war with each other? Who started the war?
Does Israel have the right to defend itself? why are Hamas still holding hostages?

Palestine never condemn Hamas. Palestine and Abduls protest in U.S and all over the world, PS crying for food and water. PS and abduls playing victim cards. Africa now crying genocide.
Wy Africa never condemn Hamas?

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