Before the International Court of Justice…will Israel be convicted of its crimes? | News

South Africa has historically been a strong partner to Israel and supported its implementation apartheid (Apartheid), today a country that has shed its legacy of racism has become a legitimate opponent of Tel Aviv international court of justice Israel has been accused of committing genocide in Gaza, marking the first time it has been prosecuted for its violations against the Palestinian people.

On December 29, South Africa filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice in The Hague, accusing Israel of committing genocide against residents of the Gaza Strip and asking the court to take measures to protect Palestinians during the brutal war. Occupying forces have been launching attacks on the Las Vegas Strip since December 7 and again last October.

South Africa claimed in the 84-page lawsuit that “Israeli’s actions and inactions are of a genocidal nature because they are accompanied by the necessary specific intention (…) to eliminate the Palestinians in Gaza as a broader national, racial and ethnic group”. part of the ethnic group that is the Palestinians.”

The lawsuit also states that Israel violates its obligations to the Palestinians in Gaza under the Genocide Convention by acting “through state agencies, state agents and other individuals and entities acting at its direction or under its direction, control or influence” obligations.

Both South Africa and Israel are signatories of the 1948 Genocide Convention, which gives the International Court of Justice jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes under the treaty and obligates all signatories not to commit genocide and to prevent and punish genocide.

The lawsuit further states that Israel “failed to prevent genocide and failed to prosecute direct and flagrant incitement to genocide.” On the other hand, Israel announced that it has agreed to appear in court to face the so-called “ridiculous and baseless accusations” made by South Africa against it and will attend the trial on January 11 and 12.

As of early January, Israel's war on Gaza has killed more than 23,000 Palestinians (French)

criminal history

Historically, even before the entity was created, Israel and its gangs committed brutal crimes to terrorize and deport Palestinians, with Palestinian Center research showing that more than 100 major massacres have occurred since 1947 events, all of which have elements. war crimes andcrimes against humanity andethnic cleansingBut Israel remains outside the realm of accountability.

Based on historical evidence and the crimes committed by Israel during its brutal war in Gaza, there is no need to commit crimes against humanity under article 7 of the Convention. Rome Statute This includes, to be proven, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of populations, imprisonment, torture or any other serious form of deprivation of personal liberty that violates fundamental provisions of international law.

Such crimes also include persecution of any particular group or community on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or sexual grounds, enforced disappearances, crimes of apartheid and other inhumane acts of a similar nature intentionally causing serious consequences . Physical integrity or health (physical or mental) suffered or seriously harmed.

These acts, which are war crimes and crimes against humanity, occur every day in Israel's war on Gaza, and there is no doubt through clear and documented audio and video evidence that they “intentionally caused great suffering or serious harm.” Seriously harming the personal safety or physical or mental health of civilians. “

Most human rights and relief organizations such as: amnesty internationalHuman Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross on the criminal nature of Israeli military operations against civilians and even against employees of international agencies.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is the highest legal institution of the United Nations. It was established in 1945 to deal with disputes between countries. It differs from the treaty-based International Criminal Court, which is also based in The Hague and handles accusations of war crimes against individuals.

Al-Aqsa hospital is filled with martyrs
Martyrs gather at Al-Aqsa hospital in Gaza due to Israeli aggression (Al Jazeera)

Genocide between actions and intentions

Genocide was defined in the First International Convention against Genocide, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 and entered into force in 1951, and subsequently in many United Nations texts and in the Rome Statute itself (Article 6) definition.

Genocide is any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, such as:

  • Kill group members
  • Causing serious harm to the physical and mental health of group members
  • Deliberately subjecting a group to living conditions calculated to cause its physical destruction in whole or in part
  • Measures to prevent intra-group births
  • Forcing children to move from one group to another

The Office for the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect said the term “genocide” was first used by Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1946 and was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly as a crime under international law in 1946. A United Nations agency, the term was incorporated into the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which has been ratified by 149 countries.

The crime of genocide is not subject to a statute of limitations, nor does its perpetrator enjoy immunity, since everyone who commits or orders the commission of the crime is subject to prosecution, regardless of their position, whether they are rulers, public officials, or irresponsible individuals responsible under articles 3 and 4 of the Convention on the Prevention of Genocide.

An old Palestinian woman tastes displacement twice
Israel systematically displaces Gaza’s population (Social Network)

Israel…plans, intentions and actions

Based on what was recorded and disseminated directly in audio and video form, experts and analysts believe that given the scale of the devastating explosions filmed, the widespread direct targeting of the population (and the intention to displace them), killings, sieges, massive physical and mental torture and destruction of homes and centres. Deliberately sheltering, destroying or cutting off basic means of life, including water, electricity, fuel and communications.

Legal experts believe they carried out acts of suffocation sieges that completely or partially blocked the entry of humanitarian food and medical aid, as well as documented deliberate and systematic attacks on hospitals, ambulances and recovery rooms, leaving patients and children without access to aid. die. Their treatment, as well as the systematic forced displacement of Gazans to the south, falls within the scope of genocide.

If intent and intent are fundamental pillars of recognition of genocide and proof that its perpetrators intended to physically destroy a group or part of a group (a national, ethnic, racial or religious person under the Convention), then Israel's practices on the ground or Statements made to officials indicate that an implicit plan or systemic policy existed and was implemented.

Human rights activists point to what they call a “genocidal tendency” that appears and is repeated in official statements and speeches by members of the government. Benjamin Netanyahu Or other officials, including citing a “war against the forces of evil and barbarism,” dehumanizing Palestinians and describing them as animals, as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said on October 9, 2023 What Japan said:

“We have a total siege on Gaza City. No electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. Everything is shut down. We are fighting the human animal and we will act accordingly.”

go through Israeli Defense Minister Yov Galante

This statement contains everything that could be considered premeditated genocide. Israeli officials have also repeatedly reiterated that there are no civilians in the Gaza Strip and that everyone is a terrorist. Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu called on November 4 to use nuclear weapons against Gaza residents if necessary. The former Israeli Knesset also said this Agree. Member Moses Feiglin.

The idea of ​​”destroying Gaza and making it uninhabitable” was also mentioned by many Israeli politicians, while former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called for Khan Younis to be transformed into a “vast football stadium.” Several Israeli ministers, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have repeatedly floated proposals to transfer Gaza residents to Egypt's Sinai peninsula or deport them to other countries, and more than 1 million Gazans have been forced to move under the weight of brutal bombing. The process of severing people from their way of life appears to be a stage in Israel's plan, and as international law analysts and experts have noted, it qualifies as genocide.

Raz Siegel, a professor in the Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University and an Israeli historian, pointed out in an interview with the YouTube channel “Breaking Points” that “Israel is deeply involved in the discourse of genocide, which appears in the media on”, politics and public life. “

He also pointed to the presence of large banners on bridges and public roads calling for Gaza to be razed to the ground and destroyed, adding that the matter “does not require a degree in comparative literature to explain these signs and expressions”.

On December 12, Siegel gave a speech in front of the United Nations building in New York, calling for “the intention and actions to call these events genocide within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime.” Genocide, numerous statements by Israeli leaders reveal the intention to destroy the Palestinian people. “

Israel's crimes in Gaza have also sparked protest reactions, with lawyer Craig Mokheiber, director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York, resigning on October 31 in protest of what he called “the Israeli “remain silent. A classic case of genocide in Gaza. ”, as the former prosecutor noted File a case with the International Criminal CourtOn October 17, Luis Moreno-Ocampo stated that “the crimes committed by Israel may amount to genocide.”

ICJ to hear Iran's case against U.S."
The International Court of Justice convenes to review the 2018 Iran v. United States case (social networking site)

a step on a long road

The ICJ panel, composed of 15 judges, plus one judge from each party to the case (Israel and South Africa), is expected to consider charging Israel with committing genocide in Gaza and set a date for the start of the genocide. South Africa will protect Palestinians in Gaza, including by halting military operations, allowing the forced return of displaced persons and immediate access for humanitarian aid.

Under the precautionary measure, the court should first consider whether it has jurisdiction to hear the case and whether Israel's alleged conduct violates the Genocide Convention.

South Africa and Israel will have two hours between January 11 and 12 to present legal arguments for or against temporary or emergency measures in the presence of a team of international lawyers. The judiciary often invokes these measures by requiring the state (in this case, Israel) to refrain from any actions that might exacerbate the conflict.

International law experts said the court would not issue a final ruling on the genocide charges until it was appointed and convened to fully review the case, which could take years.

While the ICJ's ruling is final and non-appealable, with no way to enforce or enforce compliance, ruling against Israel would set a legal precedent, deepen Israel's isolation and harm its interests. It enjoys an international reputation.

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