by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOUTH Africa on Thursday presented its genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands.
The Southern African country accuses Israel of atrocities in Gaza since the conflict started in October. More than 23 000 people have been killed, mainly children and women while 1.9 million others (about 85 percent of Gaza’s population) – have been internally displaced.
Justice Minister, Ronald Lamola, led the South African delegation to The Hague. Six local legal experts are behind the case, which South Africa lodged on December 29.
“There is a compelling argument that genocide is being committed in Gaza on the basis that there is an annihilation or cleansing of a civilian population, innocent civilians, children and women that have been displaced [and] the targeting of public infrastructure in Gaza,” Lamola told media.
The case at The Hague attracted a strong media contingent.
Israel is to present its argument on Friday.
Ahead of the proceedings, the ICJ noted owing to the high level of interest in this case and the limited number of seats available in the Great Hall of Justice for members of the diplomatic corps, registration had closed and no further requests would be accepted.
Similarly, owing to the high level of media interest in the case and the limited space available in the Press Room, the media accreditation process had also been closed.
ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
The case before the court is the latest twist in the political differences between South Africa and Israel.
South Africa argues Israel’s onslaught on Palestine is akin to the apartheid era in their country.
– CAJ News