Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

South African Ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela called on all countries on Friday to testify in the case filed by his country before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to hold Israel accountable for the crime of genocide it is committing in the Gaza Strip.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, the South African diplomat said that his country expects the ICJ to eventually declare that Israel’s ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories is illegal and must end.

He added that the matter would then be referred to the UN General Assembly to move forward on how to implement the lifting of apartheid in the Palestinian territories, guided by the court’s decisions.

The ambassador called on the states parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to attend the hearings at the ICJ and present their views along with the evidence available to them to show the court that Israel has committed genocide.

He explained that if the court reaches this conclusion, “we expect Israel to be punished appropriately.”

He continued that for the past 140 days, the world has been watching in horror as the attacks on Gaza continue day after day, stressing that the brutality and violence of the Israeli military operation against Gaza and the violation of international law – including orders issued by the ICJ – is the clearest indication that Israel considers itself unfettered in its actions against the Palestinians.

Apartheid Experience:

Madonsela explained his country’s motives for filing this lawsuit against Israel:

  1. South Africa suffered oppression and pain under apartheid.
  2. It is extremely important for South Africa to contribute to preventing others from suffering under a similar system.
  3. He considered what Israel is doing in the occupied Palestinian territories to be worse than what his country experienced under apartheid.

Based on this, South Africa – according to Madonsela – saw that filing this lawsuit against Israel in the International Court of Justice is a duty to its people and the international community, to ensure that Israel is held accountable for its actions, especially since the evidence is sufficient to convict it.

On February 19, the International Court of Justice began hearings that will continue until the 26th of the same month, with the participation of more than 50 countries to present pleadings on Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Among these countries are Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, the Emirates, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, in addition to the United States, Britain, Canada, Russia, and China.