Israel responded on Friday, January 12, to what the country described as “abhorrent” accusations that it was committing “acts of genocide” in the Gaza Strip. Representatives of the Jewish state took the floor on the second day of a historic hearing at the United Nations' highest court. “What Israel seeks through its operations in Gaza is not the destruction of a people, but the protection of a people of its own who are under attack on multiple fronts,” said Tal Becker, one of Israel's lawyers at the International Court of Justice. Justice.
In December, South Africa urgently appealed to the International Court of Justice based in The Hague, Netherlands, arguing that Tel Aviv is violating the United Nations Genocide Convention with the war it is waging in Gaza. The Israeli offensive, which is entering its fourth month, has left nearly 23,500 people dead, according to the latest report from the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza. Pretoria wants the ICJ to order Tel Aviv to stop this military campaign “immediately”. Follow our live stream.
South Africa says Israel has “crossed a line”. “No armed attack on the territory of a State, however serious (…), can justify a violation of the Convention on Genocide,” affirmed on Thursday the South African Minister of Justice, responsible for presenting the arguments to the International Court of Justice responsible for the prosecution. “Israel’s response to the October 7 attack exceeded this limit and resulted in violations of the Convention,” argued Ronald Lamola.
The ICJ's decision is expected in the coming weeks. Since this is an emergency procedure, the court could decide quickly. It will not yet decide on the merits of the case, but only on whether the basic rights of Gaza residents are currently at risk. Decisions of the International Court of Justice are final and legally binding, but the court has no power to enforce them. For example, it ordered Russia to suspend its invasion of Ukraine, with no concrete repercussions.
Attacks against the Houthis in Yemen. The United States and the United Kingdom carried out strikes against the Houthis on Thursday night in response to their attacks on ships they say are linked to Israel. The British and American armies attacked military sites in several cities controlled by Yemeni rebels, their television channel said. The Houthis have been threatening international maritime traffic in the Red Sea for weeks, in “solidarity” with the Palestinians in Gaza.