South Africa seeks International Court of Justice genocide order against Israel

Court application the latest move by South Africa, a vociferous critic of Israel’s war, to ratchet up pressure on Netanyahu’s government

Smoke from Israeli bombardment covers the skyline of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

South Africa asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday for an urgent order declaring that Israel was in breach of its obligations under the Genocide Convention in its ongoing crackdown against Hamas in Gaza.

In the latest development in Israel’s war against Hamas, tens of thousands of newly displaced Gazans sought refuge in the centre of the Palestinian enclave on Friday after fleeing an Israeli tank offensive, while warplanes attacking the south flattened homes and buried families as they slept.

The court application is the latest move by South Africa, a vociferous critic of Israel’s war, to ratchet up pressure after its lawmakers last month voted in favour of closing down the Israeli embassy in Pretoria and suspending all diplomatic relations until a ceasefire was agreed in Israel’s war with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.

In a statement from South Africa’s department of international relations and co-operation, the government said the application against Israel had been filed.

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