Palestinians want to become part of SA’s Israel cause

Henry

The Palestinian Authority has submitted an application to become part of South Africa’s case before the International Court of Justice in which Israel is accused of genocide in Gaza.

South Africa brought the case to court last year, claiming that Israel’s Gaza offensive violates the United Nations’ Genocide Convention. So far, the Palestinians have only sent high-ranking representatives to follow the hearings in The Hague.

However, the Palestinian Authority has now asked for permission to join South Africa’s case and said Palestinians have a special “interest of a legal nature that may be affected by the decision in the case”.

The Palestinians do not have UN membership, but gained observer status in 2012. In their application, Palestinian authorities also pointed out that they had signed the Genocide Convention in 2014.

The Court of Justice on Friday ordered Israel to ensure “unrestricted access” to investigators sent by the UN to investigate allegations of genocide.

In a ruling on January 26, the court also ordered Israel to do everything possible to prevent acts of genocide during its military operation in Gaza.

South Africa has already returned to the court several times and argued that the dire humanitarian situation in the area obliges the court to issue further emergency measures.

On May 24, the court ordered Israel to “immediately” cease its military offensive in the city of Rafah and keep the crossing there open for “unimpeded” humanitarian aid. The court also called for the “unconditional” release of hostages taken by the Palestinian militant group Hamas during its October 7 attack.

The court’s rulings are legally binding, but the court has no authority or means to enforce them.