South Africa has argued that if the International Court of Justice refuses to grant emergency measures in its genocide case against Israel, the court would “treat Palestinians differently, as less worthy of protection than others.”
It wants the court to order a halt in Israel’s Gaza campaign, something the court could rule on in a matter of weeks.
Max du Plessis, one of the advocates representing South Africa, cited various cases in which the ICJ has granted “provisional measures” in order to protect the rights of peoples around the world.
In January 2020, the court granted The Gambia’s request for provisional measures to protect the Rohingya people remaining in Myanmar from Genocide. The Court has granted similar measures to protect Ukrainians from ongoing Russian aggression, and Bosnians during the Balkan Wars in the 1990s.
South Africa has argued that the rights of Palestinians must be protected “from imminent and irreparable loss” while the court considers the full merit of the case, which could take years.
To find otherwise would not only be to treat Palestinians differently, as less worthy of protection than others, it would also be for the court to unduly limit its own competence, to turn its back upon its extensive prior jurisprudence, and to close its eyes to the breach of the rights which lie at the heart of the convention, and which breaches are taking place in Gaza right now,” du Plessis said.
South Africa has stressed throughout the hearing that the Court need only to decide that Israel’s actions are “plausibly genocidal” for it to grant provisional measures.
“It is clear that at least some, if not all, of these acts fall within the convention’s provisions,” she said.