The Presidency said South African was obliged “to prevent genocide from occurring” against Palestinians in Gaza by Israel

In a significant development, South Africa has filed an urgent case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing the state of crimes of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

This comes after nearly three months of relentless Israeli bombardment which has killed more than 21,500 people, about two thirds of them women and children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said the application against Israel was filed on Friday.

Last month cabinet indicated that it had filed a referral to the court at The Hague to investigating war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza and accused Israel of turning the enclave into a concentration camp.

Government said it was also expecting the court to issue a warrant of arrest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

ALSO READ: Gaza turned into ‘concentration camp’ – SA refers Israel to ICC for war crimes

Israel’s genocidal character

South Africa, which has maintained its support for Palestine, wants the court to declare on an urgent basis that Israel is in breach of its obligations in terms of the Genocide Convention for its war in Gaza and wants it to cease attacks on Palestine.

In the 84-page court application, South Africa labelled Israel’s attacks as “genocidal” in character.

“The acts and omissions by Israel complained of by South Africa are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group that being the part of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.

 “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,” the affidavit read.

The application asks the ICJ for a hearing to take place next week and requests that a number “provisional measures” be indicated by the court.

ALSO READ: ‘We expect warrants for Israeli leaders and Benjamin Netanyahu shortly’ – Ntshavheni

Preventing genocide

Following the application to the ICJ, the Presidency said the country was obliged “to prevent genocide from occurring”.

South Africa is gravely concerned with the plight of civilians caught in the present Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip due to the indiscriminate use of force and forcible removal of inhabitants.

“Furthermore, there are ongoing reports of international crimes, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes, being committed as well as reports that acts meeting the threshold of genocide or related crimes as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, have been and may still be committed in the context of the ongoing massacres in Gaza,” the Presidency said.


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

“This order  lacks both a factual and a legal basis, and constitutes a despicable and contemptuous exploitation of the Court. South Africa has cooperated with a terrorist organisation that has been calling for the destruction of Israel,” the Israeli foreign ministry said.

The ICJ, sometimes known as the World Court, is the United Nations venue for resolving disputes between states.

Israel has been highly critical of the United Nations recently announcing that that it would stop granting automatic visas to employees of the UN.

It has also accused the UN of being “complicit partners” with Hamas and that it was biased and unfair.

Netanyahu and Hitler

Meanwhile, as Israel continues its relentless bombing and ground attack of Gaza, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler, likening Israel’s assault on the enclave to Nazi Germany’s killing of Jews.

In remarks at an awards ceremony in capital Ankara on Wednesday, Erdogan asked what difference there was between Netanyahu and Adolf Hitler.

“They used to speak ill of Hitler. What difference do you have from Hitler? They are going to make us miss Hitler. Is what this Netanyahu is doing any less than what Hitler did? It is not,” Erdogan said.

“He is richer than Hitler, he gets the support from the West. All sorts of support comes from the United States. And what did they do with all this support? They killed more than 20 000 Gazans,” he said.

Gaza’s spiralling humanitarian crisis has amplified calls for an end to the hostilities by Israel.

ALSO READ: Erdogan says Netanyahu ‘no different than Hitler’ as Israel continues to bomb Gaza


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *