South Africa calls for an investigation into Israel war crimes against Gaza after submitting documents to the ICJ.

Israel will appear before the International Court of Justice on January 11 and 12, 2024. This is the first time this country will be tried under the United Nations Genocide Convention, drafted after World War II.

These events could determine the course of the war in Gaza.

Why Is This Happening?

South Africa filed the case against Israel, accusing it of violating its obligations under the Convention in the war in Gaza. It accuses Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

The 84-page case presentation reads that:

What is even more serious is that Israel has engaged, is engaging and risks continuing to engage in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The South African government’s argument is to say that Israel’s actions in Gaza are genocidal “because they are aimed at bringing about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group.”

According to South Africa, the acts in question include: killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious physical and mental harm and inflicting on them living conditions calculated to bring about their physical destruction.

Let us recall that, since October 7 last year, more than 23 thousand people have died in Gaza, according to the data of the Gaza Ministry of Health.

The African country also asked the court to issue interim measures to stop Israel’s war in Gaza, in order to protect the people from further and irreparable harm. The interim measure serves as a temporary order to suspend actions or as an injunction, pending a final judgment.

Reactions To The Accusation

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli minister. Source: The Times of Israel

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, composed of 57 Muslim countries including Jordan, Turkey and Malaysia, has endorsed the case.

For his part, Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the accusation false. He argues that Hamas has committed genocide and that the Israeli army is acting in the most moral way and is doing everything to protect civilians.

In addition, there are political disagreements among the Israeli public opinion. Some see the trial as yet another case of international bias against Israel and others think that the accusations come from extreme right-wing politicians. However, few in mainstream Israel are willing to accept the charges of genocide.

For more details on the war in Gaza, this article might interest you: Gaza Israel: overwhelming majority at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (

Sensorial Sunsets