ICJ Holds Hearing On South Africa's Plea Against Israel's Operations In Gaza

(MENAFN- IANS) The Hague, May 17 (IANS) The International Court of Justice (ICJ) opened its two-day hearings on Thursday regarding South Africa's request to halt Israel's military offensive in Gaza.

South Africa's Ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela told the judges that his country has returned to the court "due to the continuing annihilation of the Palestinian people, with over 35,000 now killed, and most of Gaza reduced to rubble", Xinhua news agency reported.

"Israel continues to show utter contempt for Palestinian life, operating with impunity," he said, explaining the reason behind South Africa's continued call for the protection of "the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people."

Since its initial application to the ICJ on December 29, 2023, South Africa has made subsequent requests in February and March 2024 for additional "provisional measures" to halt Israel's "persistent acts of genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza."

In the renewed request, Ambassador Madonsela emphasized the escalating "gravity of the situation in Gaza" and "the destruction of Gaza on a scale not witnessed since World War Two."

Madonsela urged the court to order Israel to cease its military operations in Gaza, including in Rafah, and withdraw its troops from the entire Gaza Strip.

Additionally, the ambassador called for Israel to take "all effective measures" to ensure unimpeded access to Gaza for the United Nations and humanitarian aid.

Israel's argument will be presented to the ICJ on Friday, with a judgment expected in the coming weeks.



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