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Brazil backs South Africa's ICJ genocide case against Israel

January 11, 2024 at 9:40 am

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in Brasilia, Brazil 8 January, 2024 [Mateus Bonomi/Anadolu Agency]

Brazil´s President Lula Da Silva has announced his country’s support for South Africa’s case against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) alleging genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. The announcement came just hours before the ICJ opens the first session of the hearing in The Hague.

Brazil has joined the case as a signatory to the Genocide Convention “committed to peace and justice,” said the foreign ministry.

“President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva today received the Palestinian ambassador in Brasília, Ibrahim Alzeben, to discuss the situation of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank after more than three months of the current crisis,” it explained. “There are already more than 23,000 dead, 70 per cent are women and children, and there are 7,000 people missing. More than 80 per cent of the population were forced to evacuate and the health, water, energy and food supply systems are collapsed. All these characterise collective punishment.”

The ministry pointed out that Lula supports the South African initiative at the ICJ to “order” Israel to stop acts and measures that could constitute genocide and are “flagrant violations of international humanitarian law.”

READ: Health sector in Gaza being slowly choked off: UN Relief chief

President Lula highlighted the efforts he has made personally with several heads of state and governments to promote a ceasefire and provide essential humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians. He also clarified Brazil’s tireless role in holding the presidency of the UN Security Council in favour of a diplomatic solution to the issue.

“It is frustrating to see the Brazilian government support the cynical and perverse action like this which aims to prevent Israel from defending itself against its genocidal enemies,” said the Brazilian Israeli Confederation. “This government decision diverges from the position of balance and moderation of Brazilian foreign policy. The South African action is an inversion of reality.”

The confederation claimed that Israel is “simply defending itself from a genocidal enemy” and repeated the Zionist lie that the Palestinians have a “genocidal desire to exterminate Israel and the Jews.” It also claimed that, “In this terrible war, Israeli forces take precautions that no other army has taken to preserve the civilian population.”

The reality is that, as an occupying power, Israel has no legal right to claim that it is acting in self-defence against the legitimate resistance of the people under occupation.

The apartheid state is, by definition, the aggressor in this situation.

The ICJ will hear the case presented by South Africa today, and Israel’s case tomorrow before giving a preliminary judgement. The latter could see an order for Israel to end its military offensive.

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October against Israeli military bases and settlements in the vicinity of Gaza, during which 1,139 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed, many of them by the Israel Defence Forces, it has since been revealed. The operation was in response to “daily Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people and their sanctities,” said Hamas, notably Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. Around 240 Israelis were captured during the operation, 110 of whom have already been exchanged for some of the thousands of Palestinians held by Israel.

Almost 23,500 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air and artillery strikes since 7 October, most of them children and women. Israeli bombs have laid much of the occupied Palestinian territory to waste. Thousands more Palestinians are buried under the rubble of their homes and other civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and places of worship. Nearly all of the enclave’s 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes, many several times, and they are engulfed by a humanitarian catastrophe with acute shortages of food, water and medical supplies.

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