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Number Seven Thousand Four Hundred and Eighty Eight - 18 January 2024
Iran Daily - Number Seven Thousand Four Hundred and Eighty Eight - 18 January 2024 - Page 7

Iran to act as ’third party’ in South Africa’s ICJ case against Israel

Iran has formed a commission and is preparing documents to act as a third party in South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, the Iranian Vice President for Legal Affairs Mohammad Dehghan said on Wednesday.
“As soon as South Africa filed a complaint, we formed a commission [...] and will soon file a complaint against Israel at the International Court of Justice as a third party. This claim was brought by South Africa under the 1948 Convention for the Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, and Iran, taking into account Article 9 of the Convention, did not file a complaint on its own, since this would mean recognition of Israel as a state,” he said.
The International Court of Justice in The Hague held hearings on the case on January 11 and 12. In its testimony, South Africa urged the court to oblige Israel to end its military operation in Gaza, to ensure that its residents have access to food, water and humanitarian aid, and to not impede the access of international missions to the strip.
South Africa accused Israel of “chilling” and “incontrovertible” intent to commit genocide in Gaza on the opening day of the landmark case before the UN’s top court.
Calling on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order Israel to cease military operations in Gaza, lawyers for South Africa said that Israel has gone beyond its intention to eradicate Hamas and is aiming to bring about the “the destruction” of the besieged territory’s population. Israel was accused of breaching the UN Genocide Convention, with lawyers saying that even the October 7 attack by Hamas on the occupied territories – during which around 1,200 people were killed – could not justify such actions, according to The Independent newspaper.
South Africa’s Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said that Israel has “crossed the line” with its bombardment of Gaza, with health officials in the Palestinian territory putting the death toll at more than 24,400 people.
“The intent to destroy Gaza has been nurtured at the highest level of state,” Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate of the High Court of South Africa, told the court. “The evidence of genocidal intent is not only chilling, it is also overwhelming and incontrovertible,” Ngcukaitobi said.
Lawyers for South Africa told the court that Israel’s military response to the Hamas attack has gone beyond what is reasonable. “This killing is nothing short of destruction of Palestinian life,” Adila Hassim, a South African lawyer and member of the delegation, said. “It is inflicted deliberately. No one is spared. Not even newborn babies.”
Post-apartheid South Africa has long defended the Palestinian cause, a relationship forged when Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization backed the African National Congress’s struggle against white-minority rule.


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