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ICJ considers South Africa’s Gaza request
(Pic: International Court of Justice)

17 May 2024 / global news Print

ICJ considers South Africa’s Gaza request

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has concluded its hearings on a request by South Africa for further orders against Israel over its military action in the Gaza Strip.

In January, the United Nations’ highest court concluded that it had the jurisdiction to hear South Africa’s case against Israel over allegations of genocide in Gaza under article 4 of the UN convention on genocide.

The ICJ also told Israel to take “all measures within its powers” to prevent the commission of actions that fall within the scope of the convention.

Earlier this month, South Africa filed a request for the court to make additional orders against Israel, which would include demands for Israel to cease its military operations in Rafah, withdraw from the Rafah Crossing and “immediately, totally and unconditionally” withdraw the Israeli army from the entire Gaza Strip.

Full access

The Rafah campaign was "the last step in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people", South African barrister Vaughan Lowe KC told the court yesterday (16 May).

South Africa also wants the court to order Israel to allow full access to Gaza for all aid workers, and to allow fact-finding missions, international investigators, and journalists to assess and record conditions on the ground in Gaza.

Israel has called on the court to reject the South African request, accusing the country of “distorting reality”.

"Only by bringing down Hamas's military stronghold in Rafah will Palestinians be liberated from the clenched grip of the murderous terrorist regime and the road to peace and prosperity may finally be paved," said Israel’s deputy attorney general Gilad Noam.

The ICJ said that it would now begin its deliberation and would deliver its decision at a public sitting at a later date.

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