South Africa Urges ICJ for Emergency Order as Famine Looms Over Gaza

by | Mar 7, 2024

South Africa Urges ICJ for Emergency Order as Famine Looms Over Gaza

by | Mar 7, 2024

grand hall de justice de palais de la paix à la haye pays bas

South Africa has petitioned the International Court of Justice to issue emergency orders aimed at halting Israeli military operations in Gaza that are causing a famine in the Strip. The ICJ has issued a preliminary ruling that Israel is plausibly conducting a genocide in Gaza. 

On Wednesday, Pretoria charged Tel Aviv with intentionally starving children in its filing to the court. “Palestinian children are starving to death as a direct result of the deliberate acts and omissions of Israel – in violation of the Genocide Convention and of the court’s order,” the South African legal team explained.

Pretoria’s petition to the court added, “The situation then ‘perilous’ is now so terrifying as to be unspeakable.”

A multitude of international rights organizations have condemned Israel for blocking aid shipments to Gaza and say the policy is causing famine. According to health officials in Gaza, 20 Palestinians have starved to death already, although the figure is likely an undercount. 

In addition to blocking aid shipments in Gaza, Israeli forces have attacked convoys bringing food to the Palestinians. Last week, Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinians as an aid convoy arrived in northern Gaza for the first time in a week. Over 100 people were killed in the slaughter. 

In December, South Africa filed charges at the ICJ alleging Israeli forces are committing genocide in Gaza at the direction of the government in Tel Aviv. The court issued a preliminary ruling that the charges against Tel Aviv were plausible.

Additionally, the court ordered Israel to halt military operations in Gaza that endangered civilians and to allow more aid into the Strip. Tel Aviv, along with Washington, rejected the court’s orders. Israel has further curbed aid shipments into Gaza since the ICJ’s ruling. 

Last month, Pretoria petitioned the ICJ to order Tel Aviv not to attack Rafah, a city sheltering 1.5 million Palestinians. The court declined to issue an order, explaining its original ruling would cover an Israeli assault on the city.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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