First day of ICJ hearing on South Africa’s genocide case against Israel

UN’s top court hears South Africa’s case for an emergency order to stop Israeli military action in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice, the United Nations‘ highest judicial body, began hearing arguments from South Africa at The Hague on Thursday accusing Israel of committing genocide in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Pretoria is asking the court to act urgently “to protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the genocide convention, which continues to be violated with impunity”.

South Africa filed the lawsuit at the end of December, citing statements made by Israeli public officials and the actions of its military, and wants an emergency order calling on Israel to suspend its military campaign.

More than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing war on Gaza, including more than 9,000 children.