Israel Faces ‘Genocide’ Charge At UN Top Court

On Thursday, Israel will face accusations at the UN’s top court, with South Africa urgently appealing to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to halt its military operations in Gaza.

The hearing in The Hague will center on allegations of “genocidal” acts by Israel, dismissed by its president as “atrocious” and “preposterous.” South Africa contends that Israel is violating the UN Genocide Convention, signed in 1948 after the Holocaust.

The ICJ, often dubbed the “World Court,” will mediate the dispute between the two countries, highlighting the gravity of accusing Israel of genocide.

“There’s nothing more atrocious and preposterous than this claim,” said Herzog.

“We will be in the International Court of Justice and we will present proudly our case of using self defence… under international humanitarian law,” he said.

He said the Israeli army was “doing its utmost under extremely complicated circumstances on the ground to make sure that there will be no unintended consequences and no civilian casualties”.

Due to its urgent nature, the ICJ may deliver a verdict within weeks. While its rulings are conclusive and not subject to appeal, countries don’t always comply; an instance being Russia ignoring the ICJ’s order to halt its invasion of Ukraine. Cecily Rose, assistant professor of public international law at Leiden University, noted that the court may not address the core issues of the case in this initial stage, a process expected to unfold over several years.

“Instead, the court would only be evaluating whether there is a risk of irreparable prejudice to rights held under the Genocide Convention, in particular the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts that threaten their existence as a group,” Rose told AFP.


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