Egypt won't retreat from joining South Africa’s case against Israel at ICJ: Source to Al-Qahera News

Ahram Online , Saturday 18 May 2024

A high-ranking source said on Saturday that Egypt will not retreat from joining South Africa in its genocide case filed against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

ICJ judges (top) attend a hearing of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which Israel s legal team presented its response to South Africa s request in The Hague, on May 17, 2024. Israel lashed out on May 17, 2024. AFP


In remarks to Al-Qahera News channel, the source denied reports published by Israeli media in this regard, adding: “Egypt is determined to take the necessary measures to condemn Israeli practices before the International Court of Justice.”

On Sunday, Egypt announced it will intervene in support of South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the ICJ citing the growing scale of Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. 

“These attacks include deliberate targeting of civilians, infrastructure destruction, forced displacement, and creating unbearable living conditions,” the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in Sunday’s statement.

The Israeli acts, the ministry added, led to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza and constituted a flagrant violation of international law, humanitarian law, and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 regarding the protection of civilians during wartime.

Egypt has become the sixth Arab country to join South Africa's lawsuit, following Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Libya.

On 7 May, Israel launched ground assaults in the Palestinian city of Rafah near the border with Egypt, which shelters over half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population. 

Israeli tanks moved into the city and took over the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, raising the Israeli flags at the site. 

Cairo has condemned the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, warning that Tel Aviv was evading all attempts to reach a ceasefire and escalating an already bloody conflict.

South Africa's suit

In December, South Africa filed a case at the ICJ accusing Israel of breaching the 1948 UN Genocide Convention – set up in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust – during its military campaign in Gaza,

In January, the court ordered Israel to adhere to six provisional measures, adding that it found that it has prima facie jurisdiction to hear the case.

Pretoria hailed the January judgment as a victory and said it should lead to a ceasefire.

However, in mid-February, the court rejected a request by South Africa to pressure Israel to halt an offensive against the Gaza city of Rafah.

Israel has dismissed the court proceedings as motivated by ant-semitism.

South Africa filed a third request in March accusing Israel of violating previous orders and asking the court to order an Israeli withdrawal from Rafah. Additionally, South Africa urged Israel to allow free access to Gaza for UN officials, humanitarian organizations, and journalists.

On Friday, South Africa requested additional provisional measures that would protect the population of Palestinian Rafah city in the face of an Israeli attack in that area.

Egypt has long warned of the dire consequences of the Israeli military incursion of Palestinian Rafah.

In February, Egypt participated in the ICJ advisory opinion on Israeli violations in Palestine, stating that Palestinians under Israeli occupation have endured forced displacement, collective punishment, indiscriminate violence, and daily human suffering of untold proportions for 75 years.

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