South African Ambassador to the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Vusimuzi Madonsela, made the closing remarks at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Thursday, where the court heard South Africa’s oral observations.
Last month, South Africa launched a case at the International ICJ against Israel for what it said were "genocidal" acts in Gaza.
According to a statement, the ICJ application relates to alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Genocide Convention. It said that "Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza".
“South Africa has come to this court to prevent genocide. We respectfully submit provisional measures and other measures the court may deem appropriate,” said Madonsela.
South Africa urgently requested the Court to indicate the following provisional measures in relation to the Palestinian people as a group protected by the Genocide Convention.
“These measures are directly linked to the rights that form the subject matter of South Africa’s dispute with Israel:
(1) The State of Israel shall immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza.
(2) The State of Israel shall ensure that any military or irregular armed units which may be directed, supported, or influenced by it, as well as any organisations and persons which may be subject to its control, direction, or influence, take no steps in furtherance of the military operations referred to point (1) above.
(3) The Republic of South Africa and the State of Israel shall each, in accordance with their obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to the Palestinian people, take all reasonable measures within their power to prevent genocide.
(4) The State of Israel shall, in accordance with its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in relation to the Palestinian people as a 573 Statement by Israeli Prime Minister to the Likud Party, 25 December 2023: Jeremy Sharon, "After a rare visit to Gaza, Netanyahu says war is ‘not close to being over’”, The Times of Israel (25 December 2023), group protected by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, desists from the commission of any and all acts within the scope of Article II of the Convention, in particular:
(a) killing members of the group;
(b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to the members of the group;
(c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; and
(d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.
(5) The State of Israel shall, pursuant to point (4)(c) above, in relation to Palestinians, desist from, and take all measures within its power, including the rescinding of relevant orders, of restrictions and/or of prohibitions to prevent:
(a) the expulsion and forced displacement from their homes;
(b) the deprivation of:
(i) access to adequate food and water;
(ii) access to humanitarian assistance, including access to adequate fuel, shelter, clothes, hygiene, and sanitation;
(iii) medical supplies and assistance; and
(c) the destruction of Palestinian life in Gaza.
(6) The State of Israel shall, in relation to Palestinians, ensure that its military, as well as any irregular armed units or individuals which may be directed, supported, or otherwise influenced by it and any organisations and persons which may be subject to its control, direction, or influence, do not commit any acts described in (4) and (5) above or engage in direct and public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, or complicity in genocide, and insofar as they do engage therein, that steps are taken towards their punishment pursuant to Articles I, II, III, and IV of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
(7) The State of Israel shall take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence related to allegations of acts within the scope of Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; to that end, the State of Israel shall not act to deny or otherwise restrict access by fact-finding missions, international mandates, and other bodies to Gaza to assist in ensuring the preservation and retention of said evidence.
(8) The State of Israel shall submit a report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to this Order within one week, as from the date of this Order, and thereafter at such regular intervals as the Court shall order, until a final decision on the case is rendered by the Court.
(9) The State of Israel shall refrain from any action and shall ensure that no action is taken which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.
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