Today at the Hague – South Africa Lists the Genocidal Acts Committed By Israeli Forces in Gaza.
By Patricia Harrity on January 11, 2024
Today, January 11th, 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) convened to deliberate on the unfolding crisis in Gaza. At the behest of South Africa, proceedings have commenced under the auspices of the United Nations Convention on Genocide, the accusation that Israel is perpetrating genocide within the Gaza Strip.
The South African delegation presented their case to the ICJ, in the first of two days of emergency hearings with an immediate aim to win a ruling later this month, or even as early as next week, ordering Israel to cease and desist in its assault of Gaza.
The South African Minister of Justice emphasised that no purported provocation can justify the egregious events transpiring in Gaza, and has underscored the gravity of the situation.
The South African legal team asserted their belief that Israel is engaging in a deliberate campaign of genocide in Gaza, and today they had an opportunity to lay out its case, and the opening statements from the team included a presentation of the list of acts that violate the Genocide Convention. Source
What follows below is a transcript where a legal representative of the post-apartheid nation, South Africa lists the Israeli acts which is argued violate the Genocide Convention.
The First Genocidal Act – The Mass Killings The first genocidal act committed by Israel is the mass killings of Palestinians in Gaza in violation of article 2A in the Genocidal Convention. As the UN Secretary General explained five weeks ago, the level of Israels killing is so extensive that no where is safe in Gaza.
As I stand before you today, 23,210 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during the sustained attacks over the last three months. At least 70% of whom are believed to be women and children. Some 7000 Palestinians are still missing, presumed dead under the rubble.
Palestinians in Gaza are subjected to relentless bombing wherever they go, they are killed in their homes, in places where they seek shelter, in hospitals, in schools, in mosques, in churches and as they try to find food and water for their families.
Summing Up – Genocidal Intent
In sum madam president.
All of these act, individually and collectively form and calculated pattern of conduct by Israel indicating genocidal intent.
This intent is evident from Israel’s conduct in specially targeting Palestinians living in Gaza, using weaponry that causes large scale homicidal destruction, as well as targeted sniping of civilians, designating safe zones for Palestinians to seek refuge and then bombing these, depriving Palestinians in Gaza of basic need, food, water, healthcare, fuel, sanitation and communications, destroying social infrastructure, hones, schools, mosques churches, hospitals. Seriously injuring and leaving large numbers of children orphaned.
Genocides are never declared in advance, but this court has the benefit of the past 13 weeks of evidence that shows incontrovertibly a pattern of conduct and related intention that justifies a plausible claim of genocidal acts.
In the Gambian Myanmar case this court did not hesitate to impose provisional measures in relation to allegations that Myanmar was committing genocidal acts against the Rohingya within the Rakhine state, the facts before the court today are sadly even more stark and like the Gambian Myanmar case deserve and demand this court’s intervention.
Every day there is mounting irreparable loss of life, property and humanity for the Palestinian people. Our newsfeeds show graphic images of suffering that has become unbearable to watch. Nothing will stop the suffering except an order from this court.
Without an indication of provisional measures, the atrocities will continue with the Israeli Defence Force indicating that it intends pursuing this course of action for a year.
In the words of the UN Undersecretary General on 5 January, 2024, quote –
“You think getting aid into Gaza is easy, think again. Three layers of inspections before trucks can even enter. Confusion and long queues, a growing list of rejected items. A crossing point meant for pedestrians, not trucks. Another crossing point where trucks have been blocked by desperate hungry communities, a destroyed commercial sector, constant bombardments, poor communications, damaged roads, convoys shot at, delays at checkpoints, a traumatised and exhausted population crammed into a smaller and smaller sliver of land. Shelters which have long exceeded their full capacity. Aid workers themselves, displaced, killed. This is an impossible situation for the people of Gaza and for those trying to help them. The fighting must stop.”
The video of the legal representative presenting the list of acts violating the Genocide Convention can be seen on the X post below.
At the International Court of Justice, South Africa lists Israeli acts that violate the Genoc*de Convention pic.twitter.com/WHUhMAhOEW
— COMBATE | (@upholdreality) January 11, 2024
Israel will have the opportunity to respond tomorrow.