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Note/International Court of Justice - Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip

Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel)

South Africa filed an application instituting proceedings “concerning acts threatened, adopted, condoned, taken and being taken by the Government and military of the State of Israel against the Palestinian people, a distinct national, racial and ethnical group, in the wake of the attacks in Israel on 7 October 2023. South Africa unequivocally condemns all violations of international law by all parties, including the direct targeting of Israeli civilians and other nationals and hostage-taking by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.

No armed attack on a State’s territory no matter how serious — even an attack involving atrocity crimes — can, however, provide any possible justification for, or defence to, breaches of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (‘Genocide Convention’ or ‘Convention’), whether as a matter of law or morality. The acts and omissions by Israel complained of by South Africa are genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group, that being the part of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip (‘Palestinians in Gaza’).

The acts in question include killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction. The acts are all attributable to Israel, which has failed to prevent genocide and is committing genocide in manifest violation of the Genocide Convention, and which has also violated and is continuing to violate its other fundamental obligations under the Genocide Convention, including by failing to prevent or punish the direct and public incitement to genocide by senior Israeli officials and others.”

“Israel has perpetrated and is perpetrating genocidal acts […]. Israel, its officials and/or agents, have acted with the intent to destroy Palestinians in Gaza, part of a protected group under the Genocide Convention. The compelling circumstances are set out in detail in the Application, and include that:”

— Nowhere is safe in Gaza.

— Israel is dropping ‘dumb’ bombs and bombs weighing up to 2,000 lbs (900 kgs) on one of the most densely populated places in the world.

— Palestinians in Gaza are being killed at a rate of approximately one person every six minutes.

— At least 21,110 Palestinians have been killed to date in Gaza, with a further estimated 7,780 are missing, presumed dead under the rubble.

— An estimated 7,729 Palestinian children had already been killed by 12 December 2023; at least 4,700 other children and women are reported missing, presumed dead under the rubble, leading UNICEF to describe Israel’s military attacks as a ‘war against children’.

— Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza are being wounded daily, many with life-changing and life-threatening injuries.

— Besieged and bombed hospitals are no longer able to treat the sick and wounded; only 13 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are still functioning.

— 1.9 million Palestinians in Gaza — approximately 85 per cent of the population — have been forcibly displaced from their homes.

— Palestinians in Gaza are being corralled into ever smaller areas of Gaza, without sufficient shelter, where they continue to be bombed by Israel.

— Israel continues to prevent sufficient humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, including preventing sufficient access to food, water, shelter, medicine and medical assistance.

— Vulnerable Palestinians, including the sick and infirm, children and expectant mothers are at particular risk.

— Infectious diseases are spreading rapidly.

— International experts are warning of imminent mass starvation

Israels expression of genocidal intent is outlined in Section D on page 59, followed by Section E on page 67 outlining the recognition of Israel’s genocidal intent against Palestinians. In other words, Israel expressed genocidal intent, and it has been recognised as such.

Accusations of ‘genocidal conduct’

Official Verbatim Record

Defense against genocide case

Official Verbatim Record

Analysis of Accusations and Defense by The Grayzone


No dispute, No controversy, No complexity

Norman Finkelstein’s lecture at Brown University on April 15, 2008 on the roots of the Israel/Palestine conflict and a path to peace is particularly interesting in light of the ICJ case, as the line of argument put forth in this lecture is straight forward and to the point, exposing Israel’s justifications to exert violence and aggression against the Palestinians as glaring cynicism.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

#Note #Israel/Palestine