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Bolivia backs South Africa's ICJ genocide case against Israel

January 9, 2024 at 9:26 am

Bolivia´s Vice Foreign Minister, Freddy Mamani, wears the Palestinian Keffiyeh, December2023 [@FreddyMamani_Bo/X]

Bolivia yesterday announced its support for South Africa’s case against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza after three months of relentless Israeli bombardment that has killed more than 22,000 civilians people and caused widespread destruction in the besieged Strip. Bolivia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it joined the case as a signatory to the Genocide Convention “committed to peace and justice”.

“Bolivia values the action undertaken by the Republic of South Africa which opened legal action on December 29, 2023 against the State of Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in relation to Israel’s violations of its obligations under the Genocide Convention with the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

It went on to describe the step taken by “South Africa [as] a historic step in the defence of the Palestinian people.” Adding that the entire international community should back the move if they believe in respect for life, considering the number of lives lost since 7 October.

Bolivia, together with South Africa, Bangladesh, Comoros and Djibouti, had referred Israel for investigation at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in November, for possible war crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The ICJ is due to hold hearings on Thursday and Friday in the case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of genocide in the Gaza war and seeking the emergency suspension of its military campaign.

Following Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza on 7 October, Bolivia was the first country in Latin America to cut its ties with the occupation state.

“The reasons behind breaking the diplomatic relations with Israel are over the aggressive Israeli military attacks against people in the Gaza Strip,” Deputy Foreign Minister, Freddy Mamani, explained.

“We demand an end to the attacks in the Gaza Strip that led to killing thousands of civilians and forced displacement as well as preventing them from food, water and other essential elements for life. Israel violates International Law through the treatment of the civilian population in armed conflicts,” Mamani added.

Urged the international community to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine, allow its people to exercise their right to self-determination in a free, independent and sovereign state within pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Bolivian President Luis Alberto Arce Catacora said the “current crises demand a strong United Nations, consistent with the principles that created it, committed to peace, maintaining its intergovernmental character without subordination to any hegemonic power.”

READ: Based on the experience in Bosnia, Israel must be held accountable for the genocide in Gaza