Image of a child sitting in front of murdered Palestinians in late December 2023 is form Social media
Today South filed an application at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel for committing Genocide in Gaza.
The ICJ, is a UN civil court that adjudicates disputes between countries. It is distinct from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which prosecutes individuals for war crimes.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ or World Court) is a civil tribunal that hears disputes between countries. The ICC is a criminal tribunal that will prosecute individuals.
As members of the UN, both South Africa and Israel are bound by the court.
The application has cited dozens of countries that have raised the issue of Genocide in Gaza: “Algeria, Türkiye discuss need for accountability over Gaza ‘genocide’”, Middle East Monitor (21 November 2023), The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria acceded to the Genocide Convention on 31 October 1963. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Iran, Türkiye, and Venezuela have all described Israel’s actions as a genocide, as has the Palestinian President. State officials and representatives from Bangladesh, Egypt, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Namibia, Pakistan, Syria,
The press release by ICJ:
THE HAGUE, 29 December 2023.
South Africa today filed an application instituting proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”) in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
According to the Application, “acts and omissions by Israel . . . are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent . . . to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group” and that “the conduct of Israel — through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence — in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention”.
The Applicant further states that “Israel, since 7 October 2023 in particular, has failed to
prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide” and that “Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza”.
South Africa seeks to found the Court’s jurisdiction on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court and on Article IX of the Genocide Convention, to which both South Africa and Israel are parties.
The Application also contains a Request for the indication of provisional measures, pursuant
to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Rules of Court. The Applicant requests the Court to indicate provisional measures in order to “protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention” and “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide”.
Pursuant to Article 74 of the Rules of Court, “[a] request for the indication of provisional
measures shall have priority over all other cases”.
The Application instituting proceedings, which includes the Request for the indication of
provisional measures, is available on the Court’s website.
Note: The Court’s press releases are prepared by its Registry for information purposes only
and do not constitute official documents.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946.
The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). The Court has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States; and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system.
The application in full: South Africa to ICC re Gaza192-20231228-app-01-00-en South Africa to ICC re Gaza192-20231228-app-01-00-en