South Africa to argue for new ICJ measures over Israel's assault on Rafah

South Africa to argue for new ICJ measures over Israel's assault on Rafah
Fecha de publicación: 
16 May 2024
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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is set to hear arguments from South Africa and Israel following South Africa's request that the ICJ add additional provisional measures in its genocide case against Israel.

The proceedings are set to begin at 3pm on Thursday with an oral argument given by South Africa, which will end at 5pm. Israel will be able to present its oral argument on Friday from 10am to 12pm.

 South Africa requested on Friday that Israel be ordered to immediately withdraw from Rafah and allow access for humanitarian assistance and UN officials and journalists to report on Gaza and collect evidence.

Since the beginning of Israel's war on Gaza, international journalists have been denied entry into the enclave, with access being restricted to embeds with the Israeli army.

Israel has also prevented UN officials, including United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) chief Phillippe Lazzarini, from entering the enclave.

The last measure demanded by South Africa would order Israel to submit a report on its compliance with previous ICJ rulings within a month.

South Africa cited Israel's ongoing assault on Rafah, a city where around 1.5 million Gazans had fled to for shelter, as necessitating the additional measures. UNRWA estimates that roughly 600,000 people have fled Rafah since the start of the Israeli attack. 

South Africa also noted that this assault has deprived Palestinians of the last viable habitable area in the enclave. In addition, taking control of the Rafah crossing on Egypt's border with Gaza has seriously endangered aid flows as hundreds of thousands of Gazans face the threat of famine.

Lastly, South Africa called "evacuation zones" set up by Israel's "extermination zones", and cited attacks on hospitals, and the use of AI to produce kill lists.

The new proceedings come as more countries join South Africa's case against Israel in the court, with Israel's assault of Rafah prompting Egypt to add its name to the case.

Turkey and Libya have both already joined the South African case.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed 35,272 Palestinians, wounding a further 79,000 people and devastating the enclave.

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