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Egypt to join genocide case against Israel at top UN court

May 12, 2024 at 4:25 pm

Overview of the courtroom at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands on 22 April, 2024 [Selman Aksünger/Anadolu Agency]

Egypt said Sunday it will join a genocide lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over its deadly offensive in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the move comes “in light of the escalating severity and scope of the Israeli assaults against Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the systematic targeting of civilians and destruction of infrastructure in the strip.”

“These actions constitute a flagrant violation of international law, humanitarian law, and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 regarding the protection of civilians during wartime,” the ministry said.

Egypt called on Israel, the occupying power, to comply with its obligations and implement interim measures requested by the ICJ to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid in Gaza.

It also demanded the UN Security Council and stakeholders to urgently intervene to reach a cease-fire in Gaza, halt military operations in Rafah and provide protection for Palestinian civilians.

READ: Egypt voices concern over Israel’s control of Rafah crossing

More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 76,600 others injured in a brutal Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip since a Hamas attack last Oct. 7 that killed nearly 1,200 people.

Last week, Palestinian resistance group Hamas accepted a proposal drawn by Egypt and Qatar for a cease-fire in Gaza.

But Israel said the truce offer accepted by Hamas did not meet its key demands and decided to push ahead with an operation in Rafah, home to more than 1.5 million displaced people, to apply “military pressure on Hamas with the goal of making progress on freeing the hostages and the other war aims.”

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

An interim ruling by The Hague-based court in January said it is “plausible” that Tel Aviv is committing genocide in Gaza, ordering it to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

South Africa on Friday asked the ICJ to order Israel to withdraw from Rafah as part of additional emergency measures over the war.

READ: Turkiye to join South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at ICJ