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Israel To Send Legal Team To Top UN Court Amid South Africa's Genocide Case

15.05.2024 20:12

Israel worried that ICJ may order it to cease fighting Rafah, according to Israeli media.

Israel will send a legal team to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to attend hearings scheduled for Thursday and Friday in response to a genocide lawsuit filed against Tel Aviv by South Africa, according to Israeli media.

An Israeli defense team is set to leave for The Hague on Wednesday to attend the hearings to be held by the court to consider South Africa's request for "additional measures" in the genocide case against Israel amid a military offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israeli public broadcaster KAN reported.

The appointed Israeli judge at the court, Aharon Barak, arrived in The Hague on Tuesday.

In January, Israel appointed Barak as its judge ad hoc at the ICJ.

According to the court's rules, any country that files a complaint or against which a complaint is filed may appoint a judge ad hoc.

While a final decision has not been made regarding the presentation of Israel's case by the defense team, it is expected that it will present arguments in court on Friday, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said.

According to the daily, Israel is worried that the court may order it to cease fighting in Rafah.

Last Friday, South Africa filed an urgent request with the ICJ to take "additional measures" amid the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza, particularly in Rafah.

The Israeli army launched a ground offensive on May 6 in Rafah, home to around 1.5 million displaced Palestinians, with the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) estimating that around half a million people have fled the city since the start of the Israeli attack.

Israel has waged a brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for an Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack, which killed 1,200 people.

More than 35,230 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and over 79,140 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

In the West Bank, nearly 500 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured since Oct. 7, along with daily arrest campaigns by the Israeli army.

Israel is accused of "genocide" at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio -

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