SA again approaches court of law over Israel

Henry

The South African government made an urgent request to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to intervene after Israel announced that it was expanding its military operations to the city of Rafah.

The government is now asking the United Nations (UN) highest court to consider whether Israel’s decision regarding Rafah, “which is the last refuge for surviving people in Gaza”, requires the court to use its power to stop the further violation of the rights of Palestinians in Gaza.

Rafah is a fairly small city in the south of the Gaza Strip on the border of Egypt. The city was home to approximately 250,000 people before the war.

However, more than half of the population of Gaza has since fled to the city after the Israeli army ordered civilians to flee south.

Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson for Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa, says the government’s request for intervention was already submitted to the court in The Hague on Monday.

According to Magwenya, the South African government has indicated in this request that it is deeply concerned that Israel’s military offensive against Rafah “has already led to and will continue to lead to further large-scale deaths, damage and destruction”.

The South African government further argues that Israel’s extensive military operation in Rafah is a serious and irreparable violation of the Genocide Convention and the International Court of Justice’s order of January.

RNews reported earlier that the court ruled in South Africa’s favor when it ordered on 26 January this year that Israel must take all steps to “prevent and punish” incitement to genocide in Gaza.

Possible ceasefire?

Talks about a possible ceasefire between Israel and Hamas have meanwhile been held in Egypt.

AFP reports that the Israeli intelligence chief, David Barnea, met the director of the American CIA, Bill Burns, this week in Cairo.

The negotiations, which also involved Qatar’s prime minister and Egyptian officials, were part of an intensive effort to secure a ceasefire before Israel continues its full-scale ground invasion of Rafah.

The Israeli delegation was on its way back from Cairo on Tuesday evening, an official in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office told The Times of Israel said.

The Wall Street Journal in turn reported that Barnea’s delegation left Cairo “without filling any of the major gaps in the negotiations”, according to Egyptian officials.

According to the Egyptian state-owned television channel Al Qahera, the talks will continue for another three days.

John Kirby, spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, says the negotiations are “constructive and moving in the right direction”.

“Nothing gets done until it’s all done,” Kirby told reporters at the White House.