Israel is being accused of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, as South Africa has brought a case against them at the United Nations court.

Israel is being accused of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, as South Africa has brought a case against them at the United Nations court.

On Thursday, Israel faced trial at the International Court of Justice of the United Nations, following accusations from South Africa of committing genocide through its ongoing military actions.operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip

On December 29, South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel, claiming that its actions in Gaza are considered as genocide.

In the initial meeting on Thursday, South Africa presented their accusations and requested that the court demand an immediate stop to Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Israel has firmly denied the claim of committing genocide, asserting that it is exercising its right to protect itself following the unprecedented terrorist attack by Palestinian militant organization, Hamas, on October 7th. Israel also accuses South Africa of audacity in bringing the case, which it considers a “false and groundless” defense of Hamas. Israel’s official response to the accusations will be presented at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, on Friday.

South Africa Wants Israel's Gaza Strikes Ruled a Genocide at The International Court of Justice

On January 11, 2024, a group of protestors supporting Palestine gathered outside the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands.


The police in The Hague successfully maintained distance between opposing groups of pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protesters as they paraded through the streets on Thursday. While there were no physical altercations, the atmosphere was tense as some demonstrators from both sides chanted and shouted at each other.

The Genocide Convention, signed by 150 member states of the United Nations in 1948, has officially established the definition of genocide as a crime that involves the intention to destroy a specific group based on nationality, ethnicity, race, or religion, either entirely or partially.

According to the agreement, genocide may happen “during times of war or during times of peace.”

The Genocide Convention, similar to the United Nations, was created in response to World War II and the horrific actions taken against European Jews by Nazi Germany.

What is the stance of South Africa towards Israel?

On Thursday, South Africa made their argument and requested that the ICJ judges issue a legally binding interim order for Israel to cease all military actions in Gaza.

is directed at its own territory, can

South Africa has assembled a team of highly esteemed legal experts to assert that a state cannot be attacked, even if the attack is aimed at its own territory. genocide

Includes crimes of atrocity, such as genocide.

The actions of Hamas on October 7th in southern Israel may be used as justification for violating the Genocide Convention.

According to South Africa’s 84-page document, the 2.3 million people living in Gaza, including one million children, are at great risk and in need of protection from the court. Their existence is under serious threat and urgent action is needed to safeguard them.

According to the document, a Palestinian child in Gaza has been reported as killed every 15 minutes since the start of Israel’s military actions. This is a common statement made by health officials in the Hamas-controlled area, who also mention that there are likely thousands more who are unaccounted for due to being trapped under collapsed buildings.

The government of Israel has issued additional orders for people to leave Gaza, while the United Nations is urging for an increase in humanitarian assistance.

According to the document, there is a continuous increase in the number of casualties and damages, accompanied by severe violations of human rights. It further states that Israeli government and military officials have made repeated dehumanizing remarks, promoting the complete annihilation of Gaza.

The document asserts that South Africa believes Israeli leaders have openly expressed their intention to eradicate Palestinians in Gaza as a collective. It further claims that these statements from Israeli officials amount to explicit and public encouragement of genocide, which has not been addressed or punished.

The South African government portrayed the situation as a larger conflict between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors, spanning decades, despite being thousands of miles away.

South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola stated that the conflict and devastation in Palestine and Israel did not originate on Oct. 7, 2023. He emphasized that the Palestinian people have endured ongoing mistreatment and aggression for the past 76 years.

Israel’s reaction

During a press conference on Tuesday following his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israel’s President Hertzog expressed his strong condemnation of the case brought against Israel by South Africa. He also stated that Israel would confidently present their argument for using self-defense, which is a fundamental right under international humanitarian law.

During a recent meeting of the General Assembly, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, stated that all U.N. agencies and organizations have been used as weapons against Israel. He also cited South Africa’s unfounded and defamatory claims at the International Court of Justice as evidence of this fact.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the Israeli Foreign Ministry named Lior Haiat strongly criticized South Africa’s argument, calling it a display of extreme hypocrisy and accusing them of making unfounded and unsupported accusations.

Haiat stated that South Africa, acting as the legal entity for Hamas, misrepresented the situation in Gaza after the October 7 tragedy. They also disregarded the fact that Hamas terrorists crossed into Israel and committed acts of murder, execution, massacre, rape, and abduction against Israeli citizens solely because of their nationality, with the intention of carrying out genocide.

In a statement on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that they are combatting both terrorists and falsehoods. He expressed frustration at the current state of affairs, where Israel is unjustly accused of genocide despite actively opposing it.

Israeli troops have found a significant tunnel in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has claimed that it is doing everything in its power to avoid harming innocent civilians in Gaza during its military response to Hamas. The militant group, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S., and European nations, is accused of using Palestinians as human shields by strategically placing weapons and fighters among civilian well-documented.

In a video released on Wednesday, Netanyahu claimed that his nation is targeting Hamas militants, not innocent Palestinians. He stated that Israel’s armed forces are following international laws and trying their best to avoid harming civilians, while Hamas is deliberately putting them in harm’s way to increase casualties.

The Biden administration has remained a vital global ally to Israel, providing funding, weapons and, crucially, diplomatic defense at the United Nations of the country’s right to self-defense. But along with the death toll in Gaza,

The pressure has been increasing as well.

Israel has been urged to decrease the amount of harm done to innocent civilians in the Palestinian region.

The State Department reported that during his meetings with Israeli officials on Tuesday, Blinken emphasized the significance of preventing additional harm to civilians and safeguarding civilian structures in Gaza.

According to Israel, the case may have been influenced by antisemitism, which has increased significantly worldwide during the Gaza conflict.

What is the purpose of the International Court of Justice and what powers does it possess?

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was created in June 1945 through the United Nations Charter and began operating in April of the following year. According to the U.N., the ICJ is the primary judicial branch of the organization.

The court is composed of 15 judges, chosen by U.N. members through elections to serve nine-year terms. In this particular case, South Africa and Israel were each allowed to select one judge, making a total of 17 judges presiding over the trial.

The lawyers representing South Africa have requested that the ICJ issue an injunction to halt the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza, as they anticipate that the court may take some time to make a ruling on the genocide case. According to legal experts, the court may have a low threshold for issuing these types of injunctions and could potentially respond within a week.

repeatedly stated it will not comply with

However, even in the event of South Africa’s success, it is highly improbable that Israel would obey a directive to cease its operations in Gaza, as the government has consistently declared its refusal to do so.

It was announced that the situation will persist at least until the end of this year..

However, according to a legal scholar, the fact that Israel must defend itself at the ICJ is a symbolic loss.

war crimes

“Israel is aware that South Africa has achieved victory by securing a hearing,” stated Francis Boyle, a human rights attorney and professor at the University of Illinois. Boyle previously represented Bosnia at the ICJ and successfully obtained two court orders for Yugoslavia to end their acts of war.

The systematic extermination of Bosnian individuals as a result of their ethnicity..

According to Boyle, the legal process regarding Israel’s actions against Palestinians may take several years. However, after examining South Africa’s evidence and drawing from his expertise with the ICJ, he is confident that South Africa will swiftly obtain an order from the court for Israel to stop committing genocide against Palestinians. He predicts that this order could be issued within a week or at most two weeks.


On January 11, 2024, a group of demonstrators in support of Israel gathered in The Hague, Netherlands to protest against a genocide accusation made by South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The picture is by ROBIN UTRECHT from ANP/AFP/Getty.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) typically handles conflicts between United Nations (U.N.) member nations. However, it is a civil court and does not have the authority to prosecute individuals for war crimes or crimes against humanity. Its verdicts are obligatory and cannot be appealed, but the court lacks the power to enforce its judgments.

In 2022, the International Court of Justice issued an order for Russia to cease its military actions in Ukraine, following a case brought by the Ukrainian government accusing Russia of committing genocide.

Despite the ruling, Russia has persisted in its invasion of Ukraine.

Pamela Falk from CBS News made a contribution to this report at the United Nations.