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28 Mar, 2024 12:33

Ireland to intervene in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel

Dublin has described the attacks in Gaza as a “blatant” violation of international humanitarian law
Ireland to intervene in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel

Ireland will intervene on behalf of South Africa in its case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over allegations of war crimes in Gaza, Foreign Minister Micheal Martin announced on Wednesday.

The decision was made after legal and policy analysis and consultation with several partners, including Pretoria, Martin said in a statement. It is “clear” that Israel’s ongoing hostilities in Gaza constitute a “blatant violation of international humanitarian law on a mass scale,” he added, while also condemning the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Nearly 32,000 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israeli air and ground attacks in Gaza, according to health officials in the Palestinian enclave. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to destroy Palestinian militant group Hamas after its cross-border attack, which killed more than 1,100 people and saw hundreds of others taken hostage.

Late last year, South Africa filed a legal action against West Jerusalem at the ICJ for allegedly committing “systematic” war crimes in Gaza and requested an immediate ceasefire. In January, the court ordered Israel to take steps to prevent genocide and improve humanitarian conditions for Gaza’s population. Earlier this month, Pretoria filed a request for additional emergency measures and the modification of the top UN court’s interim ruling, citing the threat of starvation for Gaza’s population.

Announcing Ireland’s intervention, Foreign Minister Martin said that “half the population of Gaza faces imminent famine, and 100% of the population faces acute food insecurity.” 

He added that the “indiscriminate” use of explosive weapons in populated areas and the “collective punishment” of an entire population must stop.

“The view of the international community is clear. Enough is enough. The UN Security Council has demanded an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of hostages and the lifting of all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale. The European Council has echoed this call,” the diplomat stated.