Creating new perspectives since 2009

Palestinians seek to join Gaza genocide case at World Court

June 3, 2024 at 8:27 pm

A view from a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as part of hearing in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the situation in Gaza begins, as ICJ begins delivering order on additional provisional measures in Israel ‘genocide’ case on May 24, 2024 in The Hague, Netherlands [Nikos Oikonomou – Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian authorities have filed an application with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to join South Africa as a party in its Gaza genocide case against Israel, the Court said on Monday.

In a statement, the ICJ, also known as the World Court, said the Palestinian authorities “filed … an application for permission to intervene and a declaration of intervention in the (South Africa v. Israel) case”, Reuters reports.

On 31 May, the Palestinian authorities officially recognised the authority of the ICJ to resolve all disputes that may arise or have already arisen under Article IX, which paved the way for them to request to join South Africa’s case against Israel as a party.

If granted by the Court, the request could allow the Palestinian authorities to also add an ad hoc judge of their choosing to the ICJ panel which currently has 16 judges, 15 of the Court’s regular judges and one Israeli ad hoc judge.

South Africa and Israel have been invited to furnish written observations on the Palestinian application for permission to intervene as a party.

The Palestinian authorities became a signatory to the Genocide Convention in 2014 after they were granted United Nations permanent observer state status.

The 1948 Genocide Convention is the basis for South Africa’s ICJ case against Israel for allegedly committing genocide in Gaza as that treaty grants the Court jurisdiction to rule on disputes between signatories about the convention.

Historically, the kind of intervention the Palestinians are seeking as a full-fledged party to the case has been granted only a handful of times by the ICJ since 1945.

Several other states have already signalled they want to intervene in the Gaza genocide case, including Nicaragua, Colombia, Libya and Mexico.

In December last year, South Africa filed a genocide case against Israel over the war in Gaza declaring   that Israel was in breach of its obligations under the Genocide Convention.

Last month, the World Court ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians and do more to help civilians, although it stopped short of ordering a ceasefire as requested by South Africa.

READ: Palestine presidency: ‘Israel’s massacre in Rafah challenges ICJ ruling’