Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – South Africa has filed a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) alleging that Israel is engaging in “genocidal acts” in Gaza.
The UN court confirmed the proceedings concerning alleged violations of Israel’s obligations under the Genocide Convention.
Israel has strongly rejected the allegation, calling it “baseless”.
“Israel rejects with disgust the blood libel spread by South Africa”, the foreign ministry said.
The ICJ, which is based in the Hague in the Netherlands, is the UN’s principal legal body. It settles disputes between states and gives advisory opinions on international legal issues.
Following its application to the ICJ, South Africa’s presidency said in a statement that the country was obliged “to prevent genocide from occurring”.
“South Africa is gravely concerned with the plight of civilians caught in the present Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip due to the indiscriminate use of force and forcible removal of inhabitants,” it said.
“Furthermore, there are ongoing reports of international crimes, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes, being committed as well as reports that acts meeting the threshold of genocide or related crimes… have been and may still be committed in the context of the ongoing massacres in Gaza.”
The 84-page document states that the “acts and omissions by Israel” are “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group”.
The application asks the ICJ for a hearing to take place next week and requests that a number “provisional measures” be indicated by the court, including that Israel cease all military activities in Gaza.