South Africa initiates legal action against Israel for the latter’s ongoing genocide in Gaza

In a significant move, South Africa formally launched legal proceedings today against Israel by submitting an application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in response to the ongoing, relentless Israeli genocide campaign against the Gaza Strip.

The application urges the ICJ to indicate provisional measures against Israel for violating its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide concerning Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The ICJ, in a press release, revealed that the application states that “the acts and omissions by Israel are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent … to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group.”

“The conduct of Israel, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention,” stated the press release, referencing the application.

South Africa’s application further accuses Israel of “failing to prevent genocide” and “prosecuting the direct and public incitement to genocide.” The African country strongly contended that Israel has been engaging in, continues to engage in, and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

In addition to filing the application, South Africa has requested the ICJ to indicate provisional measures to protect against severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention. The goal is to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention, which prohibits engaging in, preventing, and punishing genocide.

The legal action comes against the backdrop of ongoing Israeli genocide campaign on the Gaza Strip. According to local health authorities, the campaign has resulted in the murder of at least 21,600 Palestinians and the injury of 56,000.  

The relentless Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed. Nearly 2 million residents face displacement, grappling with acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicines. The situation remains dire as international legal proceedings unfold.

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