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South Africa approaches World Court again, demands more measures against Israel

South Africa approaches World Court again, demands more measures against Israel

South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order additional emergency measures against Israel, which it says is breaching the measures already in place, the U.N.’s top court said on Wednesday.

In its application South Africa warned that Palestinians in Gaza were facing starvation and asked the court to order that all parties cease hostilities and release all hostages and detainees.

A press release by ICJ on Wednesday, a copy of which was sent to Nigerian Sketch said: “South Africa today filed an urgent request with the Court for the indication of additional provisional measures and the modification of the Court’s Order of 26 January 2024 and decision of 16 February 2024 in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel).

READ ALSO: GENOCIDE IN GAZA: EU, South Africa ask Israel to immediately implement ICJ ruling in full

“In its new request, South Africa states that it is “compelled to return to the Court in light of the new facts and changes in the situation in Gaza — particularly the situation of widespread starvation — brought about by the continuing egregious breaches of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide . . . by the State of Israel . . . and its ongoing manifest violations of the provisional measures indicated by this Court on 26 January 2024”.

“It requests the Court to indicate further provisional measures and/or to modify the provisional measures indicated it its Order of 26 January 2024, pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Article 75, paragraphs 1 and 3, and Article 76, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, respectively, ‘in order urgently to ensure the safety and security of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, including over a million children”’. It urges the Court to do so without holding a hearing, in light of the “extreme urgency of the situation”.

The South African presidency warned that the people of Gaza cannot wait.

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“The threat of all-out famine has now materialised. The court needs to act now to stop the imminent tragedy by immediately and effectively ensuring that the rights it has found are threatened under the Genocide Convention are protected,” it added.

South Africa also asked the court to order that Israel take “immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address famine and starvation” in Gaza.

It added that the ICJ, also known as the World Court, should take these measures without scheduling a new round of hearings because of the “extreme urgency of the situation”.

READ ALSO: ICJ orders Russia to ‘immediately suspend’ military operations in Ukraine

In January the World Court, as the ICJ is also known, ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and to ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians, after South Africa accused Israel of state-led genocide in Gaza.

Israel and its Western allies described the allegation as baseless. A final ruling in the ICJ case in The Hague could take years.

The war in Gaza was triggered by an Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on southern Israeli communities that Israel says left 1,200 killed and 253 taken hostage.

READ ALSO: What can the UN do? Five reasons why UN appears helpless in Russia/ Ukraine conflict 

In the five months since, Palestinian authorities say Israel has killed over 30,000 people in blockaded Gaza, displaced most of its 2.3 million people, caused widespread hunger and disease, and laid waste to much of the territory.

 

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