South Africa has asked the court to issue several orders including that Israel “immediately suspends” its Gaza offensive.

As South Africa gears up to argue its genocide case against Israel today, more than 900 popular movements, unions, political parties, and other organisations have signed an open letter calling on states to support the country at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague.

South Africa has asked the court to issue several orders including for Israel to “immediately suspend” its Gaza offensive; to stop forced displacement; to enable humanitarian access to thousands of displaced Palestinians; and to preserve evidence.

South Africa filed an urgent case against Israel at the ICJ last month.

Watch the proceedings live from the Peace Palace in the Hague live here:

The United Nations (UN) top court also known as the World Court on Wednesday said South Africa and Israel would have three hours to make their cases, instead of the traditional two hours, following a request from Israel.

ALSO READ: WATCH: World’s eyes on SA as it appeals end of genocide in Gaza by Israel

Supporting SA

The case will be heard on Thursday and Friday with Progressive International urging other countries to support South Africa.

“Many countries have expressed their horror at the state of Israel’s genocidal actions, war crime and crimes against humanity being committed against Palestinians.

“We urge national governments to immediately file a Declaration of Intervention in support of the South African case against Israel,” said the organisation that unites and mobilise progressive left-wing activists and organisations.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has pledged its support for the South African legal team fighting for justice for Palestinian people as it prepares for what is possibly the most important court case in modern history.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the trade union wished the legal team all the best.

“This is possibly the most important court case in modern history.

“We also demand that President Cyril Ramaphosa to stop moving at a snail’s pace in implementing the majority decision of the South African parliament to close the Israeli embassy and fire its ambassador for good. We must cut all trade ties with the racist, Zionist apartheid Israel regime, which is backward and primitive and is in the process of eliminating Palestinians through ethnic cleansing,” said Majola.

Israel has rejected the allegation of genocide, calling it “baseless.”

Court arguments

South Africa will present oral arguments from 10am until 1pm on Thursday, while Israel will make its case at the same time on Friday.

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola is leading South Africa’s delegation to the Peace Palace in the Hague, where international law expert John Dugard is expected to lead governments’ arguments in the court battle.

The rest of South Africa’s legal team for the Gaza case against Israel includes Max du Plessis, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Adila Hassim, Sarah Pudifin-Jones, Lerato Zikalala and Tshidiso Ramogale.

The death toll in Gaza has soared to more than 23 200 people, about 70% of them women and children, while 59 167 people have been injured, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

ALSO READ: WATCH: SA’s case against Israel ‘simple and straightforward’ – Ramaphosa


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