South Africa has filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing it of genocide in Gaza. The country filed this case at the end of last month after three months of destruction and bombings in Gaza that killed more than 22,000 people.
The hearing of this case is starting now. The case is scheduled to be heard for the first time in the court tomorrow Thursday. Analysts say that this is the first time that the Jewish state of Israel has to go to the international court for such a crime. Genocide was once carried out on these Jews. Never forget the name, Holocaust. The accusation of genocide is against them this time.
The lawsuit alleges the killing of Palestinians in Gaza, including physical and psychological torture and disruption of human life. However, Israel rejected the case in the UN court. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, ‘These allegations are false’.
What South Africa says in the case
According to the British media BBC, the 84-page document of the case filed by South Africa states that Israel’s actions are a form of genocide. Because they are doing this to destroy a large part of the Palestinians living in Gaza. Israel’s genocidal activities include killing Palestinians, inflicting serious emotional and physical harm, and deliberately creating conditions that cause physical harm to the group as a whole.
Professor Juliet McIntyre of the University of South Australia’s Law Department says that everything is clearly stated in the South African case. It seems that they have entered the field with everything.
What is the work of the international court?
According to the BBC, the ICJ is the highest court of the United Nations, which resolves problems between member states. All members of the UN are automatically members of ICZ. If a state wants to file a case, it has to go to ICZ. The ICJ consists of 15 judges, who are elected for nine-year terms by the General Assembly and the UN Security Council.
Cases against the Genocide Convention are heard at the ICJ. This court was established in 1945. The proceedings of this court, called the World Court, take place in The Hague, Netherlands.
Israel and South Africa have deployed a total of 17 special judges in genocide cases. Analysts think that the proceedings of this case will continue for a long time. In that case, it may not be possible to hope to stop the war in Gaza by looking at the case. But it cannot be said that there is no hope at all.
What is Israel saying?
Israel called the case defamatory. Conversely, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames Hamas for the massacre. He claimed that the IDF is the most ethical defense force.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, ‘I am asking, where was South Africa all this time? Where were they when millions died in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere?’
According to the American media CNN, Israel will still have to appear in court. Many analysts believe that this has happened due to doubts and conflicts among themselves. But Israelis are supporting the government in this war, polls say.
What happens if the court asks to stop the war?
Daniel Macover, a London-based lawyer and international law expert, told CNN that these cases normally take a long time. However, a preliminary injunction may come before the final judgment in this case. It is difficult to say when it will come. It will be understood by looking at the proceedings of the case.
Francis Boyle, an American human rights lawyer, said the same thing. He also thinks that before the final verdict comes, a halt to the attack on Gaza or some other order may come from the court. He previously fought for Bosnia and Herzegovina on charges of genocide against Yugoslavia. He is speaking from that experience.
Francis Boyle said the hearing would begin on Thursday. Some orders may come within a few weeks. Even if Israel has nothing to say about it, they may rise against the court and its proceedings.
Those who are on the side of South Africa
Many have supported South Africa in its genocide case against Israel. This list includes the OIC of the Islamic State. The alliance of 57 member states includes countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and Morocco.
Malaysia supported South Africa in this case on January 2 this year. Then Türkiye, Jordan, Bolivia also supported one by one. Apart from this, the leaders of various countries are also supporting South Africa.
Three months have passed since the war between Israel and Hamas. Israel has killed more than 22,000 Palestinians since the war began on October 7 last year, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza. In addition, most of the 2.3 million people living in Gaza are displaced.
Israel claimed that on October 7, Hamas terrorists attacked southern Israel and killed 1,200 people. In addition, 240 people were taken hostage. Meanwhile, some hostages have been released during the cease-fire with the consent of both sides, but 120 hostages are still held by Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently reiterated his commitment to eliminate Hamas. “We have to put everything aside until we achieve total victory in Gaza,” he said. The operation will continue until Hamas is completely eliminated, our hostages are returned and Gaza is no longer a threat to Israelis.’