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South Africa Returns to ICJ Demanding Extra Measures To Stop Israel's Mass Killings

UNRWA in Rafah. UNRWA Facebook page

The South African Presidency today stated: “In a request submitted to the court yesterday (12 February 2024), the South African government said it was gravely concerned that the unprecedented military offensive against Rafah, as announced by the State of Israel, has already led to and will result in further large scale killing, harm and destruction.” The statement opened, “The South African Government has made an urgent request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to consider whether the decision announced by Israel to extend its military operations in Rafah, which is the last refuge for surviving people in Gaza, requires that the court uses its power to prevent further imminent breach of the rights of Palestinians in Gaza.” It concluded that targeting Rafah, “would be in serious and irreparable breach both of the Genocide Convention and of the Court’s Order of 26 January 2024.

In its emergency filing yesterday, South Africa called on the ICJ to evaluate whether Israel’s planned ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah requires the court to intervene to prevent further breaches of Palestinian rights.