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Activists Welcome South Africa’s Move To Bring Israel To International Court

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South Africa files application instituting proceedings against Israel before International Court of Justice.
South African activists welcomed the country’s move Friday to bring Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for alleged genocidal violations against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Iqbal Jassat, an executive member of the South Africa-based advocacy group, Media Review Network (MRN), told Anadolu that his group welcomes the move by the government.

“It is not only important but extremely urgent to have the International Court of Justice order an immediate halt to the ongoing genocide perpetrated in Gaza by Israel,” he said.

South Africa filed an application instituting proceedings against Israel before the ICJ, requesting the court initiate provisional measures.

South Africa filed the application “concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” according to a ICJ statement.

The country also accused Israel of “failing to prevent genocide” and “prosecuting the direct and public incitement to genocide.”

“Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” it said.

-Justice for Palestine
Jassat said MRN supports South Africa’s submission to the ICJ which said “acts and omissions by Israel … are genocidal in character” as they are committed with the intent “to destroy Palestinians in Gaza” as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.

He said MRN is aware and has repeatedly warned about the brutality of war crimes committed by the settler colonial regime.

“Now that South Africa has lodged this case, we are confident that it provides an important opportunity for the International Court of Justice to scrutinize Israel’s actions in Gaza using the Genocide Convention of 1948,” said Jassat.

He said although South Africa previously filed a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza, the current application to the ICJ, as the highest judicial body of the UN, displays serious commitment by South Africa to secure justice for Palestine.

Hassan Logart, an official with the People’s Media Consortium, an advocacy group focused on the rights of local communities, told Anadolu that his group also welcomes the move by South Africa.

“It’s about time. Israel has been doing things with impunity and someone has to call them to order,” Logart told Anadolu.
-Boycotts, divestments, sanctions
Mametlwe Sebei, president of the General Industries Workers Union of South Africa, said the move was a welcome step,
“Although, it must be said that it is more symbolic and calculated for effect than anything meaningful,” he told Anadolu. “We can expect that nothing substantial will come of it.”

Sebei believes South Africa should do more in respect of things within their control such as cutting off diplomatic ties with Israel, imposing the boycotts, divestments and sanctions measures that target at regime and complicit corporations, as well as actively and materially supporting the Palestinian resistance. He said these are within South Africa’s means but the ICJ is not.
Palestinian rights group Al-Haq also welcomed the application describing it as “a principled move to pursue justice for Israel’s Genocide.” –