Ireland to intervene in South Africa genocide case against Israel

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Ireland said on Wednesday it would intervene in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel.

Announcing the move, Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said that while it was for the World Court to decide whether genocide is being committed, he wanted to be clear that both Hamas’ October 7 attack and what is happening in Gaza now “represents the blatant violation of international humanitarian law on a mass scale.”

“The taking of hostages. The purposeful withholding of humanitarian assistance to civilians. The targeting of civilians and of civilian infrastructure. The indiscriminate use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The use of civilian objects for military purposes. The collective punishment of an entire population,” Martin said in a statement.

“The list goes on. It has to stop. The view of the international community is clear. Enough is enough.”

In January, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and to ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians after South Africa accused Israel of state-led genocide in Gaza.

Judges at the ICJ hear a request for emergency measures by South Africa, who asked the court to order Israel to stop its military actions in Gaza, in The Hague, Netherlands, january 11, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/THILO SCHMUELGEN)

Final ruling in ICJ case could take years

Israel and its Western allies described the allegation as baseless. A final ruling in South Africa‘s ICJ case in The Hague could take years.

Martin did not say what form the intervention would take or outline any argument or proposal Ireland plans to put forward.

Martin’s department said such third-party interventions do not take a specific side in the dispute but that the intervention would be an opportunity for Ireland to put forward its interpretation of one or more of the provisions of the Genocide Convention at issue in the case.

Ireland last week joined Spain, Malta, and Slovenia in taking the first steps toward recognizing statehood declared by the Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

Israel told the countries that their plan constituted a “prize for terrorism” that would reduce the chances of a negotiated resolution to the conflict between the neighbors.





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