Israel responds to South Africa’s genocide suit
Israel responded on Tuesday to the genocide accusations filed by South Africa last week, stating that it would vigorously defend itself. South Africa had submitted the case to the International Court of Justice on Friday, accusing Israel of perpetrating genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and requesting that the court intervene to cease the attacks. Eylon Levy, the Israeli government spokesperson, condemned the accusations as a “blood libel” and affirmed that Israel would present its case before the ICJ in The Hague to refute these claims. Levy also argued that the case held no factual or legal foundation.
South Africa support for Palestinians
South Africa has consistently voiced its criticism of Israel since the conflict commenced on October 7. Their action at the ICJ represents the latest in a series of measures that the South African government has taken against Israel’s offensive in Gaza. South African officials have contended that Israel is in violation of the United Nations’ Genocide Convention, and they have urged for an expedited hearing. Article 2 of the convention defines genocide as intentional acts aimed at destroying a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, either wholly or partially. Both South Africa and Israel, as member states of the UN, are obligated to comply with the ICJ’s rulings. Consequently, if the court issues an injunction ordering an end to the attacks in Gaza, Israel would be required to uphold the ruling.
Ignoring ICJ rulings
While the ICJ is the highest court of the United Nations, it binds its member states to its judgments. However, compliance with these rulings is not assured, given that the court lacks the power to enforce them. For instance, in March 2022, Russia disregarded an order to cease its military campaign in Ukraine.
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