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South Africa Rebuts Israeli Arguments Provided During ICJ Hearing on Gaza Genocide Case

© 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, 18.05.2024
Last Friday, South Africa asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hold hearings to determine additional provisional measures and modify the measures previously ordered by the court in the South Africa v. Israel case. The hearings took place this Thursday and Friday.
South Africa criticized Israeli statements during the International Court of Justice hearing on the subject of alleged genocide in Gaza.
"Some engagement [was] on the facts, but not really rebutting what South Africa is trying to assert is essentially trying to detract and blame, you know, or cast political aspersions on the intentions of South Africa," Zane Dangor, Director-General of South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation, was quoted as saying.
On Friday, defending its military operation in the Gaza Strip, Israel refuted South Africa's claims, calling them an "obscene exploitation" of the "most sacred" genocide convention.
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 told the court on Thursday that the situation in the besieged enclave has reached "a new and horrific stage." The country urged the judges to order a halt to Israeli military operations, saying that the assaults on Gaza "must be stopped" in order to guarantee the survival of the Palestinian population.
Vusimuzi Madonsela, South Africa's ambassador to the Netherlands, requested that judges issue an order for Israel to "immediately, totally and unconditionally, withdraw the Israeli army from the entirety of the Gaza Strip."
Attorney Tamar Kaplan-Tourgeman defended Israel's actions in Gaza, stating that fuel and medication had been permitted to enter. However, during Friday's hearing, judge Nolte asked Israel to provide information about the existing humanitarian conditions in the Gazan evacuation zones and explain how the Jewish state will ensure that humanitarian aid will be received by the evacuees. Israel has to reply to the question no later than this Saturday evening.
South Africa filed its lawsuit against Israel in late 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.
South Africa decided to request new hearings on the case since the alleged genocide in Gaza is "intensifying" and the country demands an "explicit" and "unambiguous" order from the ICJ to stop the killings, Dangor pointed out.

"[South Africa came to the court for the third time] because the situation in the whole of Gaza, but in particular in Rafah, has changed drastically since the last time we came to the court. […] The genocidal acts [are] intensifying. […] The killings [are] intensifying, and our legal teams have demonstrated the facts of these changing circumstances, including the genocidal acts in both Rafah and in Gaza," he said.

On May 7, 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.