The hearings on the lawsuit of South Africa against Israel have taken place. – WZO

The hearings on the lawsuit of South Africa against Israel have taken place.

On January 11 and 12, hearings took place at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague regarding a lawsuit brought by South Africa against Israel. South Africa has accused the Jewish state of committing genocide against Palestinians and demanded a resolution calling on Israel to cease its military operation in the Gaza Strip against the terrorist organization Hamas.

Peace Palace in Hague, Seat of the International Court of Justice in a beautiful summer day, The Netherlands

On January 11, the judges heard the plaintiff’s arguments. South Africa claims that Israel’s goal is to destroy a significant portion of the Palestinian people and demands a halt to military actions. Citing 23,000 victims, South Africa refers to data provided by Hamas.

South Africa also claims that over 80% of the world’s population suffering from hunger live in the Gaza Strip. However, according to a UN report from July 12, 2023, there are 735 million people suffering from hunger worldwide, and the population of the Gaza Strip cannot constitute 80% of this figure.

These and other accusations demonstrate that South Africa is defending Hamas and seeks to absolve it of responsibility for the events of October 7. This is not surprising, given that South Africa does not recognize Hamas as a terrorist organization and openly supports it. Moreover, in February 2023, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) added South Africa to its “grey list” due to insufficient efforts to combat the financing of terrorism and money laundering.

On January 12, the court heard the defendant’s arguments. Israeli representatives systematically refuted the accusations made by South Africa and characterized the absurdity of the lawsuit itself. Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization worldwide, has committed atrocities against Israel, and now a third party is asking the court to issue a provisional measure that would prevent Israel from responding but would not hinder the terrorists from continuing their actions.

The South African lawsuit against Israel is being considered by a panel of 15 judges from the USA, Russia, Slovakia, France, Morocco, Somalia, China, Uganda, India, Jamaica, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Australia, and Brazil, with an additional judge from both Israel and South Africa. Israel is represented by former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak.

The process may drag on for many years, but a preliminary ruling could be announced next week.

12 Jan 2024
2 min read
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