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Israel to send legal team to top UN Court amid South Africa genocide case

May 15, 2024 at 7:01 pm

Public hearings in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel began on Thursday at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands on January 11, 2024 [Selman Aksünger – Anadolu Agency]

Israel will send a legal team to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to attend hearings scheduled for Thursday and Friday in response to a genocide lawsuit filed against Tel Aviv by South Africa, according to Israeli media, Anadolu Agency reports.

An Israeli defence team is set to leave for The Hague on Wednesday to attend the hearings to be held by the Court to consider South Africa’s request for “additional measures” in the genocide case against Israel amid a military offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israeli public broadcaster, KAN, reported.

The appointed Israeli judge at the Court, Aharon Barak, arrived in The Hague on Tuesday.

In January, Israel appointed Barak as its judge ad hoc at the ICJ.

According to the Court’s rules, any country that files a complaint or against which a complaint is filed may appoint a judge ad hoc.

While a final decision has not been made regarding the presentation of Israel’s case by the defence team, it is expected that it will present arguments in Court on Friday, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said.

READ: World Court to hold hearings over Israel’s Rafah attacks

According to the daily, Israel is worried that the court may order it to cease fighting in Rafah.

Last Friday, South Africa filed an urgent request with the ICJ to take “additional measures” amid the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza, particularly in Rafah.

The Israeli army launched a ground offensive on 6 May in Rafah, home to around 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, (UNRWA), estimating that around half a million people have fled the city since the start of the Israeli attack.

Israel has waged a brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a 7 October, 2023, Hamas attack, which killed 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

More than 35,230 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and over 79,140 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

In the West Bank, nearly 500 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured since 7 October, along with daily arrest campaigns by the Israeli army.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered it to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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