Last Updated on January 14, 2024 by News Desk
Facts of the Case:
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague has opened hearings in South Africa’s historic complaint against Israel over its activities in Gaza. With almost 23,000 dead in Gaza since October 7, including around 10,000 children, Pretoria alleges Israel of committing genocide. The South African team, under the direction of international law specialist John Dugard, described in detail the catastrophic circumstances in Gaza, emphasizing the continuous blockade, constant bombings, and Israel’s lethal military incursion.
Arguments Presented by Parties:
South Africa’s legal team, led by counsel Adila Hassim, discussed five primary “genocidal acts” committed by Israel in a three-hour presentation to the justices of the International Court of Justice:
Mass Killings: There is proof of the intentional mass murder of Palestinians, as well as the deployment of devasting bombs in areas that have been designated as safe.
Physical and Psychological Trauma: Nearly 60,000 individuals, mostly women and children, have suffered severe physical and psychological trauma as a result of a failing healthcare system.
Food Blockade and Forced Relocation: Israel purposefully imposed circumstances that resulted in forced displacement, resulting in the repeated relocation of thousands of families and the homelessness of half a million people. The obstruction of food and water, creating widespread starvation.
Healthcare System Destruction: The military attack by Israel on Gaza’s healthcare system exacerbated the region’s already damaged infrastructure and rendered living untenable.
Preventing Births in Gaza: Israel’s blockade of vital medical care for expectant mothers and fathers is considered a preventive measure against childbirth and may be considered genocide.
The international community is currently focusing on South Africa’s request for an emergency order against the continued deaths and damage in Gaza, even though the ICJ’s ultimate ruling may not come for years. It was also stressed that a provisional sentence can be given in a matter of weeks. Experts are eagerly awaiting the ICJ’s decision in this historic legal challenge, since the case provides insight into the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Written By: Nikita Shankar @nikitaashankar