The first session of the case South Africa v. Israel before the International Court of Justice started today

The first hearing began at the International Court of Justice in the case brought by South Africa against "Israel" on charges of committing genocide in Gaza.

The South African representative at the International Court of Justice said in a speech at the start of the session that his country “recognizes the Nakba that took place in 1948 and led to the displacement of the Palestinian people,” stressing that “Israel adopts racist laws that distinguish between Palestinians and Israelis.”

He added, "Hate speech and racism have become exacerbated in Israel, and the future of the Palestinians in Gaza depends on the sessions of the International Court of Justice."

In turn, South African Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola said that this session was devoted to South Africa’s request to take temporary measures to stop the genocide in Gaza.

He stated that "the violence and destruction against the Palestinians did not begin on October 7, but rather that the Palestinian people have been suffering since 1948," and pointed out that "Israel controls the two crossings in the Gaza Strip, and is considered, according to international law, an occupying force."

He added that his country "will present in these sessions evidence of Israel's attempt to commit genocide and arguments to prove that the harm it caused in Gaza is comprehensive."

The South African representative at the International Court of Justice, Adila Hashim, also said at the opening of the session, “Israel continues to control the airspace and territorial waters in Gaza.”

She added: "During the past 96 days, Israel launched attacks on Gaza that are the most violent in history. Israeli measures make life in Gaza impossible, and are consistent with the crimes of genocide."

She continued: "The intensity of the Israeli killing has made all areas in the Gaza Strip unsafe, and Palestinian suffering is a reality, and impossible to deny. In the first weeks after October 7, Israel used about 7,000 projectiles per week."

She pointed out that "the number of civilian casualties in Gaza is the largest in the world during a limited period of time," and that "Palestinians who refused to leave their homes in Gaza were killed or are threatened with death."

She continued, "Israel's request to evacuate hospitals is considered a measure of genocide. Famine is widespread among 97% of Gaza's population. Israel continues to prevent food and medical aid from reaching Gaza through continuous bombing. Gazans are also prevented from accessing clean water and clean shelters."

The South African representative pointed out in court that “malnutrition and diseases, if left untreated, will lead to a state of deadly epidemics in Gaza.”

She stressed that "there is no evidence that Israel bears responsibility for the reconstruction of Gaza, but rather it is proud of its destruction operations."

The African official also referred to “violence against women, girls, and premature infants, as well as killing, wounding, and leaving children without care, and the destruction of infrastructure,” and stressed that these measures are “part of genocide.”

Likewise, the South African representative at the International Court of Justice said, “There is an unusual feature in the case, which is the statements of Israeli officials about their intention to commit genocide, and the narrative about genocide also includes the Israeli Knesset, which calls for the crushing of Gaza.”

The South African legal team said in court: “If these Israeli statements had not had a specific purpose, they would not have been issued,” and called for the prosecution of advocates of this genocide, stressing that “Israel is aware of its effort to eliminate Gaza.”

The team reminded the court of the powers of those who called for the genocide, namely the prime minister, ministers, representatives, soldiers, and officers, stressing that the evidence is clear of an intention to commit genocide in Gaza, which, in the team’s words, has turned into “a graveyard and a furnace of hopelessness because of what it did.” Israel is atrocities.

   

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