South Africa's genocide case against Israel has 'world assist,' finance minister says

South Africa’s Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola speaks to members of the media on a day judges on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hear a request for emergency measures by South Africa, who requested the court docket to order Israel to cease its army actions in Gaza and to desist from what South Africa says are genocidal acts dedicated against Palestinians throughout the warfare with Hamas in Gaza, in The Hague, Netherlands, January 11, 2024. 

Thilo Schmuelgen | Reuters

South Africa’s legal case accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza has “world assist,” the nation’s Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana informed CNBC Monday.

A two-day listening to final week on the International Court of Justice within the Hague, Netherlands, noticed South African legal professionals lay out arguments alleging that Israel’s bombardment of Gaza that has induced huge casualties was tantamount to genocide.

“South Africa has not carried out something uncommon by going to an establishment which has been established by the United Nations for dispute settlement between nations, and we’re following rule of legislation and authorized rules on this regard,” Godongwana informed CNBC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Supporters of Israel in fact, together with the U.Okay., will say our software is nonsense however there’s world assist for our view that the truth is, our case was substantive and we’ve got argued our case.”

Turkey, Jordan, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Pakistan and Malaysia are among the many states which have publicly supported South Africa’s software, together with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The Saudi-based group consists of 57 member states, 48 of that are Muslim-majority international locations.

Godongwana reiterated that Pretoria agreed that Israel had to answer the Oct. 7 Hamas assaults, however that the response was “disproportionate” and has induced too many civilian casualties. The Hamas-run Gazan well being ministry estimates that greater than 23,000 individuals have been killed for the reason that warfare started.

Israel strongly denied the accusation, contending that it has a proper to defend itself in response to the phobia assault by Hamas fighters, who killed round 1,200 individuals and took round 250 hostage.

Mark Regev, former ambassador to the United Kingdom and senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Friday referred to as the genocide allegation “ludicrous, offensive and unsuitable.”

South Africa’s case additionally got here underneath fireplace from Israel’s allies, together with the U.S. and the U.Okay. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron on Monday referred to as the allegations “nonsense,” whereas White House National Security spokesman John Kirby slammed the lawsuit as “meritless, counterproductive, and utterly with none foundation the truth is in anyway.”

The Genocide Convention underneath which South Africa lodged the case defines genocide as particular “acts dedicated with intent to destroy, in entire or partly, a nationwide, ethnical, racial or non secular group.”

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South Africa argued that Israel has dedicated and failed to forestall genocidal acts by way of killings, bodily and psychological hurt, and the imposition of situations “meant to convey in regards to the destruction of a considerable a part of the Palestinian nationwide, racial and ethnical group.”

The nation’s legal professionals additionally accused Israel of failing to “stop or punish the direct and public incitement to genocide by senior Israeli officers and others.”

The case is prone to drag on for a number of years, with comparable circumstances underneath the Genocide Convention up to now — corresponding to that against Serbia — taking greater than a decade to succeed in a ultimate determination.

In the brief time period, the court docket is contemplating South Africa’s request for provisional measures, particularly whether or not the court docket ought to order Israel to droop its army operations in Gaza, take essential measures to forestall genocide and additional killing or hurt.

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