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World Court to hold rare genocide hearing against Israel on 11 January 2024

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) , also known as the 'World Court', will hold a hearing concerning the 84-page international law suit that South Africa lodged against Isreal, accusing Isreal of committing genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention. The complaint was filed before the ICJ on 29 December 2023. The State of Isreal was quick to deny the allegations within South Africa’s complaint as “baseless” and announced on 2 January 2024 that it will challenge the allegations of genocide before the ICJ in The Hague. The ICJ hearing is scheduled for 11 and 12 January 2024. 

Acts of genocide alleged in the ICJ complaint include “killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing their serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction” and attributes all the stated acts to Israel. “In addition to being killed by Isreali weaponry, Palestinians in Gaza are also at immediate risk of death by starvation, dehydration and disease as a result of the ongoing siege by Isreal, the insufficient aid being let through,…the decimation of Gaza’s infrastructure”, South Africa wrote. The complaint further mentions the forced displacement of an estimate of “over 1.9 million Palestinians out of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million” since October 2023. South Africa requested the ICJ for an interim measure to prevent Isreal from relentlessly bombing and systematically killing Palestinians of the Gaza Strip that Israel first launched on 7 October 2023. At least 22,000 civilians including numerous children were killed within the last four months.

The situation remains tense as the international community awaits the ICJ's deliberation on the genocide allegations. In a YouTube interview, lawyer Daniel Machover welcomed South Africa's complaint against Israel. "It's now clear to me that the years of the failure to apply international law and in particular to suppress ... alleged war crimes committed by Israelis during this long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has led us to where we are today with the most serious of allegations against ...the Israeli State, which South Africa has brought ... to the International Court of Justice". "It's a very very sad day it's a horrific situation that we've reached and for Israel to face a claim of genocide just shows us that how far we've gone and that it was all predicted ... in in the clearest way." "This shouldn't in fact ultimately come as a surprise shocking as it is," Machover added.

Read the full ICJ complaint here.

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