South Africa Asks ICJ to Consider Israeli Plan to Extend ITS Military Offensive in Rafah

Gaza, MINA – South Africa said Tuesday that it has asked the International Court of Justice to consider whether Israel’s plan to extend its military offensive in Gaza into the city of Rafah requires additional emergency measures to protect Palestinians’ rights, Middle East Monitor reports.

The ICJ ordered Israel last month to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, in a case brought by South Africa.

Israel has denied all allegations of genocide in connection with its offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza, and asked the court to reject the case outright, saying it respects international law and has a right to defend itself.

As and occupation state, though, it has no such right to claim “self-defence” against the resistance of the people under its occupation.

Israel has said that it is planning to send troops into Rafah, where over 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge from the offensive that has laid waste to much of the Gaza Strip since Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October.

“In a request submitted to the court yesterday, the South African government said it was gravely concerned that the unprecedented military offensive against Rafah, as announced by the State of Israel, has already led to and will result in further large-scale killing, harm and destruction,” said South Africa’s presidency.

“This would be in serious and irreparable breach both of the Genocide Convention and of the Court’s Order of 26 January.”

The Hague-based ICJ declined to comment on whether it had received the request. In past cases the court has sometimes granted additional emergency measures when circumstances on the ground have changed.

The court has not yet ruled on the core of the case brought by South Africa, whether genocide has occurred in Gaza. However, it recognised the right of Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)