South Africa Requests ICJ Emergency Orders to Halt “Unspeakable” Gazan Genocide

UNITED NATIONS, 11 Mar 2024

John Menadue | Pearls and Irritations - TRANSCEND Media Serviceer

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the UN, holds public hearings on the request submitted by South Africa in the case South Africa v. Israel at the Peace Palace in The Hague. The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized UN organs and agencies.

7 Mar 2024 – “Israel is now massacring desperate, starving Palestinians seeking to obtain food for their slowly-dying children.” The situation in Gaza is now so terrifying as to be unspeakable, writes South Africa in an urgent request for the International Court of Justice to issue additional provisional measures to stop Israel’s genocide.

South Africa today filed an urgent request with the International Court of Justice for the indication of additional provisional measures and the modification of the Court’s Order of 26 January 2024 and decision of 16 February 2024 in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel), according to the ICJ in a press release dated 6 March.

In its request, South Africa states that it is “compelled to return to the Court in light of the new facts and changes in the situation in Gaza — particularly the situation of widespread starvation — brought about by the continuing egregious breaches of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide . . . by the State of Israel . . . and its ongoing manifest violations of the provisional measures indicated by this Court on 26 January 2024”.

It requests the Court to indicate further provisional measures and/or to modify the provisional measures indicated it its Order of 26 January 2024, pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Article 75, paragraphs 1 and 3, and Article 76, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, respectively, “in order urgently to ensure the safety and security of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, including over a million children”. It urges the Court to do so without holding a hearing, in light of the “extreme urgency of the situation”.

The situation in Gaza described by the ICJ as “perilous” on 16 February, “is now so terrifying as to be unspeakable… justifying — and indeed demanding — the indication of further provisional measures of protection,” argued South Africa.

South Africa’s has requested that the ICJ make the following additional provisional measures and modification to existing measures:

  1. “All participants in the conflict must ensure that all fighting and hostilities come to an immediate halt, and that all hostages and detainees are released immediately.
  2. “All Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide must, forthwith, take all measures necessary to comply with all of their obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
  3. “All Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide must, forthwith, refrain from any action, and in particular any armed action or support thereof, which might prejudice the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide and related prohibited acts, or any other rights in respect of whatever judgment the Court may render in the case, or which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.
  4. “The State of Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address famine and starvation and the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in Gaza, by: (a) immediately suspending its military operations in Gaza; (b) lifting its blockade of Gaza; (c) rescinding all other existing measures and practices that directly or indirectly have the effect of obstructing the access of Palestinians in Gaza to humanitarian assistance and basic services; and (d) ensuring the provision of adequate and sufficient food, water, fuel, shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation requirements, alongside medical assistance, including medical supplies and support.
  5. “The State of Israel shall submit an open report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to all provisional measures ordered by the Court to date, within one month as from the date of this Order.”

“Palestinian children are starving to death as a direct result of the deliberate acts and omissions of Israel — in violation of the Genocide Convention and of the Court’s Order. This includes Israel’s deliberate attempts to cripple the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (‘UNRWA’), on whom the vast majority of besieged, displaced and starving Palestinian men, women, children and babies depend for their survival,” write South Africa.

The latest death toll from Israel’s assault on Gaza stands at 30,717 people killed, including more than 12,300 children and 8,400 women. More than 72,156 Palestinians have been injured.

Read the full text of South Africa’s submission to the International Court of Justice here:

APPLICATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE IN THE GAZA STRIP (SOUTH AFRICA V. ISRAEL)

___________________________________________

 

John Menadue has had a senior professional career in the media, public service and airlines. He is founder of Pearls and Irritations.

 

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