South Africa has brought a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. The submission urges the court to compel Israel to halt its military operations in the region. While the ICJ will provide an opinion on the genocide allegation, this is not a criminal trial. Israel has strongly refuted the claim, labeling it as “baseless.” South Africa is scheduled to present its case on Thursday, with Israel presenting its defense on Friday.

According to South Africa’s submission, Israel’s actions aim to bring about the destruction of a significant part of the Palestinian national, racial, and ethnic group. The alleged actions include killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them severe physical and mental harm, and subjecting them to conditions calculated to result in their physical destruction. South Africa is urgently seeking “provisional measures” from the court, including an immediate cessation of all military activities by Israel in Gaza.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog denounced the accusations as “atrocious and preposterous,” asserting that Israel will present its case in the International Court of Justice, emphasizing the use of self-defense within the framework of humanitarian law. The UN court, located in The Hague, Netherlands, might promptly rule on South Africa’s request for Israel to suspend its military campaign, but a final determination on the genocide allegation could take years.

While ICJ rulings are theoretically legally binding on parties involved, including Israel and South Africa, they are not enforceable. South Africa, critical of Israel’s military operations in Gaza, draws parallels between the situation and its historical struggle against apartheid. The African National Congress, which governs South Africa, has a longstanding history of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

According to the Health Ministry, over 23,350 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began on October 7

Quest: Emmanuel kelvin

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