The Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) commends South Africa’s referral of Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for genocidal intent related to the atrocities in Gaza. This is a show of solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine that have suffered ongoing acts of ethnic cleansing by Israel for 75 years, ably supported by the United States of America.
The ongoing Israel’s war of ethnic cleansing has resulted in immense suffering for innocent civilians with more than 22,000 Palestinians killed, near 2 million displaced and 70% of all buildings destroyed by Israel. The United States has repeatedly acted against the will of the international community to stop or slow down the bloodshed.
The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Wednesday in Qatar:
“As South Africa we have accordingly, together with many other countries across the world, referred this whole Israeli government action to the International Criminal Court,”
“We have put through a referral because we believe that war crimes are being committed there. And of course we do not condone the actions that were taken by Hamas earlier, but similarly we condemn the actions that are currently underway and believe that they warrant an investigation by the ICC.”
Israel should not be allowed to ethnically cleanse occupied people, and the United States must not be allowed to continue to wage war on international law.
SOUTH AFRICA APPROACHES THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE UNDER THE GENOCIDE CONVENTION WITH RESPECT TO ACTS COMMITTED BY ISRAEL IN THE CONTEXT OF ITS ATTACKS ON GAZA
South Africa is gravely concerned with the plight of civilians caught in the present Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip due to the indiscriminate use of force and forcible removal of inhabitants.
Furthermore, there are ongoing reports of international crimes, such as crimes against humanity and war crimes, being committed as well as reports that acts meeting the threshold of genocide or related crimes as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, have been and may still be committed in the context of the ongoing massacres in Gaza.
South Africa has repeatedly stated that it condemns all violence and attacks against all civilians, including Israelis. Moreover, South Africa has continuously called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and the resumption of talks that will end the violence arising from the continued belligerent occupation of Palestine.
As a State Party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, South Africa is under a treaty obligation to prevent genocide from occurring.
Therefore, at a special meeting held on 8 December 2023, Cabinet directed that the International Court of Justice in The Hague be approached to obtain an order directing Israel, which is also a State Party, to refrain from any acts that may constitute genocide or related crimes under the Convention.
An application in this regard was filed before the Court on 29 December 2023 in which the Court is requested to declare on an urgent basis that Israel is in breach of its obligations in terms of the Genocide Convention, should immediately cease all acts and measures in breach of those obligations and take a number of related actions.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
Image: Al Mayadeen English
End-Disu KamorExecutive ChairmanMuslim Public Affairs Centre