South Africa vs. Israel Genocide Case Begins
South Africa (SA) and Israel will convene today, Thursday 11 January, at the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, Netherlands, as the African country accuses its Middle Eastern counterpart of genocide.
SA has accused Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, and will have the opportunity to present their argument today. Israel will have a chance to respond to the allegations tomorrow.
Hundreds of people, including a large number of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, have gathered outside of the courthouse to show their support for both sides.
In its submission to the ICJ, SA stated that Israel was “killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction.”
Isaac Herzog, President of Israel, responded by calling the accusations “atrocious and preposterous”. He later added that the Israeli army was “doing its utmost under extremely complicated circumstances.”
As it is not a criminal trial, the ICJ will not deliver a verdict but it will provide an opinion at the end of the proceedings, which is expected to be delivered quickly. However, a final ruling on whether Israel is currently committing genocide in Gaza could take years.
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