More than 1,000 popular movements, political parties, unions, and other organizations around the world have expressed support for South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In a joint statement, the organizations urged “other countries to reinforce this strongly worded and well-argued complaint by immediately filing a Declaration of Intervention with the ICJ, also called the World Court.”
The case before the ICJ will begin in The Hague on Thursday, with South Africa presenting its case accusing Israel of genocide in its war on Gaza and seeking a halt to the brutal military assault that has killed over 23,000 Palestinians since October 7.
The statement added that “Parties to the Genocide Convention are obliged to act to prevent genocide; therefore, action must be immediate”.
“A Declaration of Intervention filed with the ICJ in support of the South African case against Israel is one way to ensure that all acts of genocide are stopped and those responsible are held accountable,” the organizations said.
The statement stressed that “Israel’s killing, injuring, traumatizing, and displacing large numbers of Palestinians and denying water, food, medicine, and fuel to an occupied population meet the criteria for the crime of genocide.”
Amongst the signatories to the statement are the International Iraqi Women’s Assembly; Israelis Against Apartheid (Israel); Jordanian Federation of Independent Trade Unions; Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination (US); Mediciana Democratica (Italy); Institute for the Critical Study of Zionism; Islamic Human Rights Commission (UK); One Justice (France); South African Jews for a Free Palestine; and Nahostgruppe Mannheim (Germany).
“If a majority of the world’s nations call for a ceasefire, yet fail to press for prosecution of Israel – what is to stop Israel from ethnically cleansing all Palestinians?” the organizations asked.
Treaty Obligation to Prevent Genocide
South Africa said in a statement that “As a State Party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, South Africa is under a treaty obligation to prevent genocide from occurring.”
So far, South Africa’s legal action has been officially endorsed by Turkiye, Malaysia, Jordan, Bolivia, The Malvides, Namibia, Pakistan, and Venezuela. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), composed of 57 member states, has also announced its endorsement of the case.
Some European politicians are urging their governments to take action and join South Africa’s case against Israel.
Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter on Tuesday said Brussels “cannot remain silent in the face of the genocide threat in Gaza.” “We must take action against the threat of genocide,” she wrote on X.
The leader of Spain’s Podemos announced, on Tuesday, that her party has formally urged the Spanish government to back South Africa’s case at the ICJ, Anadolu news agency reported.
Ione Belarra, the secretary-general of the left-wing Podemos, said official letters have been sent to Spain’s Foreign Ministry and the central government, urging leaders to back the case publicly and that the party will also raise the issue in parliament for debate.
Israel has said it will appear before the ICJ to counter what it called “South Africa’s absurd blood libel.
Jeremy Corbyn to Support SA Delegation
A delegation of South African government officials, led by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, will be present at the hearing.
In a statement on Tuesday, Minister Lamola said: ““We are determined to see the end of the genocide that is currently taking place in Gaza.”
“We are most encouraged by leaders of the world who have not blunted their consciousness and have stood on the right side of history by supporting a case that seeks to protect the rights of human beings, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.”
The South African delegation will be joined by senior political figures from progressive political parties and movements across the globe, including Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of Britain’s main opposition, the Labour Party, the statement said.
According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 23,357 Palestinians have been killed, and 59,410 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.
Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.