‘Rafah last step in the destruction of Gaza’ says SA

Henry

The South African government is back in front of the International Court of Justice where they accuse the Israeli government on Thursday of intensifying their “genocide” in Gaza.

This court ruled in South Africa’s favor in January and requested Israel to do everything in its power to prevent acts of genocide and to enable humanitarian aid to Gaza.

However, the South African government is of the opinion that Israel’s invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza requires new action from the court. South Africa is now asking for, among other things, an order to force Israel to stop its invasion of Rafah.

“South Africa hoped, when we last appeared before this court, to put an end to this genocidal process in order to protect Palestine and its people,” the South African ambassador to the Netherlands, Vusimuzi Madonsela, said today in the Peace Palace said in The Hague.

“Instead, Israel’s genocide has continued and it has just reached a new and horrifying point.”

Israel will be given the opportunity to respond on Friday.

Vaughan Lowe, a lawyer for South Africa, argued in the Peace Palace today that Israel’s operation in Rafah is “the last step in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people”.

“It was Rafah who brought South Africa to court. But it is all Palestinians as a national, ethnic and racial group who need the protection against genocide that the court can order,” said Lowe.

The International Court of Justice rules in disputes between states and its rulings are binding, although the court has little means of enforcing them.

This time, South Africa is asking for three emergency orders – provisional measures – while the court rules on South Africa’s initial accusation that Israel is violating the UN Genocide Convention of 1948.

The South African government first wants the court to order Israel to withdraw immediately and stop its military offensive in Rafah.

Second, Israel must take “all effective measures” to allow “unrestricted access” to Gaza for humanitarian aid workers, as well as journalists and investigators.

The South African government then finally asks the court to make sure Israel reports back on the measures taken to comply with the orders.

However, Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, said this morning, minutes before today’s trial began, that the operation in Rafah “will continue as additional forces enter the area”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued on Wednesday that “we have to do what we have to do” and insisted that mass evacuations there had averted a much-feared “humanitarian catastrophe”.

The United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, said on Wednesday that 600,000 people have fled Rafah since military operations were stepped up amid fighting and heavy Israeli bombardment in the area.

However, South Africa says: “By attacking Rafah, Israel is attacking the ‘last refuge’ in Gaza, and the only remaining area of ​​the strip that has not yet been substantially destroyed by Israel.

“If the primary humanitarian center for humanitarian assistance in Gaza, if Rafah falls, so will Gaza,” South Africa said in its initial submission to the court.

South Africa maintains a “permanent ceasefire in Gaza” is the only way the existing court orders can be implemented.