Israel-Palestine Escalation
Israel was hit by an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on October 7, with Hamas movement's troops infiltrating border areas. On October 8, the Israeli government announced that it had invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law, which means the country was officially in a state of war.

Israel Urges Top UN Court to Dismiss South Africa's Gaza Genocide Suit, Foreign Ministry Says

© AP Photo / Peter DejongJudge Nawaf Salam, center, presides at the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, May 1, 2024.
Judge Nawaf Salam, center, presides at the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, May 1, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.05.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - On Thursday, South African Ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela said that South Africa requested that the ICJ order Israel to stop all military operations in the Gaza Strip, including in the city of Rafah, withdraw troops and ensure unhindered access to the Gaza Strip for humanitarian aid and investigators.
The Israeli authorities have called on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to reject a lawsuit filed by South Africa accusing the Jewish state of genocide in the Gaza Strip as it is distorting facts and generally accepted moral norms, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has said in a communique.
"South Africa's claims are both morally and factually distorted and constitute an abuse of the Genocide Convention and the ICJ ...We call on the International Court of Justice to reject South Africa's appeal and to bring the abuse of the Court to an end.," the foreign ministry said on Thursday.
The ministry added that South Africa presents "biased and false" claims that "blindly" rely on unreliable sources of Palestinian movement Hamas. Israel acts in accordance with international law and its humanitarian obligations, the ministry said, adding that the military operations in the city of Rafah and the Gaza Strip as a whole are being carried out with respect to measures minimizing damage to civilians and civilian infrastructure.
The ICJ is holding hearings on South Africa's recent request for measures against Israel over the situation in Rafah from Thursday to Friday.
A view of the Peace Palace, which houses the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, on Jan. 26, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.05.2024
Israel-Palestine Escalation
South Africa Tells UN Court Israel 'Genocide' Hit 'New and Horrific Stage'
South Africa filed its lawsuit against Israel in December 2023. On January 26, the ICJ ruled provisional measures, ordering Israel to take urgent steps to prevent acts of genocide and ensure the flow of humanitarian aid to the enclave. At the same time, the ICJ did not order an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. In early March, the African nation went back to the ICJ to call for additional provisional measures against Israel that would address widespread starvation among Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
On October 7, 2023, Palestinian movement Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel and breached the border, attacking both civilian neighborhoods and military bases. Nearly 1,200 people in Israel were killed and some 240 others abducted during the attack. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 35,100 people have been killed so far by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said. More than 100 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.
In the early hours of May 7, 2024, the Israel Defense Forces launched what it called a counterterrorist operation in the east of the city of Rafah and took control of the Gaza side of the border crossing with Egypt. Later that week, Israeli media reported that Israel's military cabinet had approved expanding the ground operation. Israeli authorities say the operation is aimed at eliminating the remaining battalions of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.