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South Africa’s legal team asks ICJ to order halt to all Israeli military activity in Gaza Strip

South Africa’s legal team asks ICJ to order halt to all Israeli military activity in Gaza Strip
Director-general of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Zane Dangor and South African ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on 16 May 2024. (Photo: Reuters / Yves Herman)

Advocate Adila Hassim told the International Court of Justice on Thursday that South Africa seeks an explicit order that Israel cease its military activity ‘not only in Rafah but throughout Gaza’.

South Africa’s high-powered legal team urged the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Thursday to reassert its authority and order Israel to cease its military operations in the Gaza Strip, including in the southern city of Rafah. 

With a delegation led by South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Vusi Madonsela, and Department of International Relations and Cooperation Director-General Zane Dangor, South Africa appeared before the ICJ on Thursday determined that the only means of ending the carnage in Gaza is for Israel to cease its military operations in the enclave. 

In comparison to South Africa’s congested side of the courtroom, the rows of seats belonging to Israel were bare on Thursday.

South Africa filed its request to the ICJ on 10 May, asking the court to order Israel to immediately withdraw from and cease its military incursion in Rafah. On 14 May, the court announced it would hold public hearings at the Peace Palace in The Hague, at South Africa’s request. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: World’s gaze to return to Peace Palace as ICJ hears arguments by SA and Israel on Rafah

ICJ, John Dugard, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Adila Hassim, Israel

John Dugard, professor of International Law, lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and lawyer Adila Hassim, sit ahead of the hearing of the genocide case against Israel brought by South Africa, at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, The Netherlands, on 12 January 2024. (Photo: EPA-EFE/ Remko De Waal)

Making concluding statements for South Africa’s legal team of nine, Madonsela said South Africa’s request had been amended “to reflect the ever-increasing gravity of the situation”.

South Africa, Madonsela said, now requested the court to order Israel to “immediately, and further to its obligations under the court’s previous orders of 26 January 2024 and 28 March 2024, cease its military operations in the Gaza Strip, including the Rafah Governorate, and withdraw from the Rafah crossing and immediately, totally and unconditionally withdraw the Israeli army from the entirety of the Gaza Strip”. 

IJC Rafah team legal team

Additionally, South Africa requested the court to order Israel to “take all effective measures to ensure and facilitate the unimpeded access” to Gaza for United Nations (UN) officials and other international organisations to provide humanitarian aid and assistance, and access for journalists and investigators. 

In its submission, South Africa also asked that Israel file a public report to the court on all measures taken to give effect to any provisional measures the court may order, within one week from the date of the order. 

Whether because of a lack of clarity as to precisely what the orders require or because Israel chooses to ignore them, they have not been effective.

In January, South Africa, failed to obtain a ceasefire order at the ICJ — the principal judicial organ of the UN. The court ordered Israel to prevent genocide, to prevent and punish incitement to genocide and to increase humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. But it stopped short of ordering Israel to implement a ceasefire.  

Read in Daily Maverick: Israel-Palestine War

On Thursday, Irish advocate Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh told the court, “Israel continues to kill and harm Palestinians in Gaza, in violation of the court’s orders, while its soldiers and political leaders alike continue to publicly express clear genocidal intent towards them. 

“It is self-evident that the provisional measures indicated in the court’s previous orders ‘do not fully address the consequences arising from the changes in the situation’ that now pertain. The severity of the situation involving ‘horrific human suffering’ mandates that the court make explicit that which was implicit in its previous orders, and that it now orders Israel to cease its military operations in unequivocal, express terms. 

“Nothing else will suffice, Ghrálaigh said.

Deputy attorney general for international law Gilad Noam, principal deputy legal adviser in the Israeli home affairs ministry Tamar Kaplan Tourgeman and legal adviser with the Embassy of Israel in the Netherlands Avigail Frisch Ben Avraham at the International Court of Justice on 16 May 2024. (Photo: Reuters / Yves Herman)

ICJ Gaza Israel

Judge Nawaf Salam, president of the International Court of Justice, speaks at the start of the hearing at which South Africa requested new emergency measures over Israel’s attacks on Rafah on 16 May 2024. (Photo: Reuters / Yves Herman)

Professor of Public International Law at Oxford University, Vaughan Lowe KC, opened for South Africa, telling the court that South Africa was again appearing before it “because the Palestinian people are facing genocide in Gaza, and your [the court’s] orders have not succeeded in protecting them against that”.

“Whether because of a lack of clarity as to precisely what the orders require or because Israel chooses to ignore them, they have not been effective.

“Since the request was made it has become increasingly clear that Israel’s actions in Rafah are part of the end game in which Gaza is utterly destroyed as an area capable of human habitation,” Lowe told the court. 

“This is the last step in the destruction of Gaza and its Palestinian people.” 

Lowe said that there was “no credible argument” Israel could make “that this catastrophe is not real”. He said Israel’s right to self-defence did not give the state a right to use unlimited violence and starvation on the people of Palestine. 

“No right of self-defence can ever extend to a right to inflict massive, indiscriminate violence and starvation collectively on an entire group. Second, nothing — not self-defence or anything else — can ever justify genocide. The prohibition on genocide is absolute, a peremptory norm of international law. Third, the court ruled in 2004 that there is no right of self-defence by an occupying state against the territory that it occupies,” Lowe said. 

South African and Israeli delegations sit in front of judges at the International Court of Justice on 16 May 2024. (Photo: Reuters / Yves Herman)

‘Nowhere is safe’

Rafah has been a refuge for 1.5 million Palestinians fleeing Israeli bombardment across the rest of the Gaza Strip over the past seven months, according to UN figures. Earlier in May, Israel issued evacuation orders to Palestinians in the city, before seizing control of the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, and stepping up its bombardment of Rafah. 

On 15 May, the UN estimated that some 600,000 Palestinians had already fled Rafah. 

South African advocate Max du Plessis set out to the court the recent events that necessitated South Africa’s return to the ICJ — particularly concerning Rafah. 

In its decision on 16 February, in which the court declined a request by South Africa for additional provisional measures relating to Rafah, it noted, however, that the situation in Rafah was already “perilous”, Du Plessis said. 

“Instead of complying with this court’s decisions in January, February and March 2024, Israel has defied this court by trapping, besieging and bombarding an overcrowded Rafah, exacerbating the security and safety of 1.5 million highly vulnerable Palestinians already at grave risk,” he said. 

Addressing the court’s president directly, Du Plessis said, “No one in Gaza is safe — as the United Nations has repeatedly made clear — nowhere in Gaza is safe.”

He argued that Israel’s use of evacuation orders and designation of “humanitarian zones” was merely “performative — they endanger rather than protect civilian life.

“So-called humanitarian zones are not safe, precisely because nowhere in Gaza is safe,” Du Plessis reiterated.

South African and Israeli delegations sit at the International Court of Justice on 16 May 2024, to hear South Africa’s request for new emergency measures over Israel’s attacks on Rafah. (Photo: Reuters / Yves Herman)

Genocidal conduct

Advocate Adila Hassim explained how Israel’s assault on Rafah, which triggered South Africa’s application, was “inextricably linked to the ongoing genocidal conduct being committed across Gaza”.

Quoting the Polish lawyer, Raphael Lemkin — known for coining the term “genocide” and campaigning for the formation of the Genocide Convention — in his 1944 book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress, Hassim said Israel’s latest actions in Rafah, “bring its ‘coordinated plan … aimed at the destruction of the essential foundations of [Palestinian] life’ into Gaza — into horrifying focus.

“We are in the final stages of that ‘coordinated plan’,” she said, “where the ‘different actions’ of Israel — to use Lemkin’s terms — the systematic ‘disintegration of the political and social institutions and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity and even the lives’ of Palestinians have led to the present precipice.

“History warns us what happens next. We cannot simply stand by, waiting for it to happen again,” Hassim said. 

She repeated the genocidal acts she laid out at South Africa’s ICJ hearing in January: 

  • Israel’s continued killing of Palestinians in Gaza, followed by what the UN secretary-general has described as “the worst humanitarian crisis” he had seen in more than 50 years;
  • Israel’s targeting of hospitals, which has caused Gaza’s health system to collapse;
  • The mass graves being uncovered in Gaza; and
  • Israel intensifying its attacks in the north while continuing its Rafah offensive, leaving Palestinians with nowhere safe to go.

“The risks to the people of Gaza are imminent, irreparable and rapidly increasing,” Hassim said. “All of what I have described must stop. Israel must be stopped.”

Israel will argue its case on Friday, 17 May. It has not formally revealed its argument before the hearing, but in response to South Africa’s application to the court in January, it said South Africa had emptied the word “genocide” of its meaning. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Pet Bug says:

    Russia just invaded Ukraine for the second time causing a blood bath in northeastern area. Any outrage, comment?

    • Matthew Pantland says:

      There has been years of outrage and massive support for the Ukrainian army (they have one).

      In Palastine there has been denial and further arming of the invader.

    • Luke S says:

      Worldwide outrage and comments. Believe it or not. How is that at all relevant to this, and what is the point that you’re trying to make exactly about this particular war? Since you’re commenting on an article about it, what are your feelings about it, instead of your feeling about other terrible things going on?

    • Steve Davidson says:

      Zionist ‘whataboutism’? There’s no genocide in Ukraine. Yet.

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        There’s no genocide in Gaza either. Only genocidal actions are Hamas’s actions and the calls to make Israel judenrein, chants like “From the River to the Sea” repeated by Pandor, calls on campuses to level Tel Aviv (population c. 500 000) and views to delegitimise the State of Israel like yours.

      • Michael Thomlinson says:

        Oh, so targeting of civilian blocks of flats, hospitals and schools (while the occupants are in them) is somehow not genicide but the same thing happenig in Gaza is? One must also remember that Russia started an unprovoked war in Ukraine whereas Hamas deliberately provoked Israel on 7 October knowing full well what was to follow. Hamas should bear equal responsibilty for what has happened to the Palestinian people.

        • Kanu Sukha says:

          Why should Hamas tolerate continued ‘occupation’ (ask Obama or the UN) of Palestinian territory after more than 50+ years ? The ‘responsibility’ lies with the occupying force, which has like the US (and allies … constituting 10% of world population) decided to demonise (and continue to do so) Hamas (which it is unwilling to negotiate with in good faith) and now also the UN and its agencies . The US would rather spend untold sums erecting temporary piers (when perfectly ‘working’ land crossings exist) for ‘aid’ shipments (while simultaneously arming the occupier !) as a ‘sideshow’, to its direct participation in the genocide. Kirby yesterday on BBC proudly proclaimed how the Israeli’s could learn from the American ‘experience’ of ‘smart’ assaults on ‘the enemy’ (instead of just indiscriminately dropping huge bunker busting bombs – US supplied) – as they did in Afganistan and Iraq ! The pathetic interviewer (impressed by the answer obviously!) forgot to ask him what happened in the end to America in Iraq and more recently Afghanistan ? The American hubris (Beinart) and now Israeli also, is unending! Nuremberg II will come eventually ! History will not be on the side of the genocidally inclined.

  • P S says:

    Ummm…. Justice for Zimbabwe…. Or Sudan… Uygers in China? No? What about the 30+ people dying each week in the Cape flats? Meh..

    • Luke S says:

      Please be so kind as to elaborate what your point is? Are you trying to say that this isn’t newsworthy? If so, why not? Or that DM doesn’t report enough on other crises in the world? If so, does that mean this should not be published? Or that it isn’t important? Depending on which figures one looks at, 61 women and children have died per day in Palestine in 7 months, not to mention 500 Palestinians in the West Bank. Are you perhaps saying that no charity, support, or sympathy should occur unless one also does the same for every single other one? You must therefore give a heck of a lot of money and time to so, so, so many then. Right? You’re doing your bit to make some of… I mean, according to your logic, every single bad thing in the world… better then. Right? Because nothing counts unless everything does all at once, by everybody, in the same place? I’m really struggling to see why you seem to be deriding this piece of news? Why is it a problem for you? Surely you don’t support the war there? Surely.

      • Trenton Carr says:

        Still not getting the point, I’m starting to think you have an agenda.

      • PJ T says:

        People are killed in Gaza as Hamas protects its weapons in the tunnels and leaves its people out to die.
        Given the number of rockets fired into Israel, approx 350,000 Israelis would have been killed if Israel didn’t focus on protecting its people.
        If you are concerned at the number of Gazans being killed, Hamas is to blame.

    • Tumelo Tumelo says:

      “Whatabout”, “Whatabout”, “Whatabout”….. I have always assumed a human being can walk and chew at the same time: this mindlessness we often see on these commentary pages is nothing short of puerile. Engage with material at hand!

      • Malcolm McManus says:

        “Whatabout” has relevance. Naledi and the bandits only care about supporting hand picked battles. They spend much of South Africa’s tax money fighting the Palestinian cause but ignore other equally horrific humanitarian crisis in Africa and elsewhere. It is relevant that they ignore South African humanitarian crisis here at home and choose to spend money elsewhere before prioritizing our own people. This does not mean we should not care about conflict elsewhere and have input, but we need to weigh up what is most important. The tax payers would probably prefer to see that their money is spent on fixing South Africa first. The ANC support of Palestine is biased because they have distinctly taken sides. They are happy about October the 7th. Its personal for them. Their interests are not about peace or saving lives, but more about being a thorn in the side of Israel. They are not applying their policy of neutrality in this conflict or in the Ukraine conflict. They have personal interest in taking sides in both cases. The ANC are not about achieving peace in these conflicts.

        • Luke S says:

          Ok, so your issue with this is our government. I am sure you would be welcome to move to Israel/Palestine, where tens of thousands of children have been killed in 7 months, while 600 children have been killed in Ukraine in over 2 years. Or simply don’t read these articles? Or start a protest, and please do include, in public, the inflammatory remarks about our government being “happy” about Oct 7th.

        • John P says:

          That is a lot of speculation you are presenting as fact. There is no doubt that the ANC, just like every other government anywhere in the world, is selective with their foreign policy. That does not mean that they are not right in this particular case.

          • Malcolm McManus says:

            The point is, their approach to the matter is unlikely to bring peace through the ICJ. South Africa has in recent history, promoted themselves as a peacemaker helping to solve conflict. Recent positions on the palestinian conflict and the Ukraine conflict are not indicative of trying to achieve peace. They do not proactively engage with both sides to achieve peace. They have not condemned October the 7th, nor do they condemn the invasion of Ukraine. They invite members of Hamas to functions where they condemn Israel. They never condemn Hamas. It takes two sides to make a war that results in the killing of many thousands of people on both sides of the respective conflict. The war is unlikely to stop in both these conflicts regardless of what is said and done at the ICJ. Not that anything at the ICJ gets done in much of a hurry.

          • L T. says:

            Thank you Malcolm for being just about the only contributor who is brave enough to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

        • Tumelo Tumelo says:

          Malcolm, unfortunately you suffer from the disadvantage of being wrong. Whataboutism is flawed reasoning. The premise here is the genocide being committed in Gaza not what you think Naledi Pandor or the ANC is doing or not doing. I honestly do wonder if we just peruse here and comment.

        • Geoff Coles says:

          That’s the truth of it….Luke has his own views, contrary as always.

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            The Lukes seem to have a lot of time on their hands. They sit on DM all day, threatening to go to Gaza to do “humanitarian work”, with all their knowledge of the facts built up from DM and TikTok. They believe that if Bad Israel just gave everything back – then the innocent Palis would leave them in peace and kumbayah. They are blissfully ignorant that Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, or that there is anything other than a Palestinian / Muslim history or indigenous claim over the land. While most people like to think they would be Oskar Schindler, its actually the Lukes that go to every pro-pali march, covering their faces and shouting “from the river to the sea”.

          • Luke S says:

            They pulled out of Gaza in 2005. Did they free the people there from the walled enclosure, with everything coming in or out inspected and ruled on by Israel, or did they just remove the military? There’s a big difference, it’s still occupation.
            The pervading stance by the Israel apologists seem to be mostly personal attacks and propagating propaganda from Israel, a lot of which has not been backed up by evidence, and quite often then evidence that has been surfacing, has been contradictory to their claims. Just today in the court they claimed that aid has been flowing in, while the press on the ground say unequivocally that nothing has been going through. Their entire defence was based on what the Israeli government has said, nothing more. Zero evidence.
            Stop the occupation, share the land. Nobody can reasonably say it’s their land because 120 generations ago, while others who are still alive were kicked out. It’s very simple. Stick to the subject, debate the topic at hand – the occupation and removal of Palestinians who were also living there in living memory. This isn’t colonial times anymore – that stuff isn’t accepted anymore.

        • Tumelo Tumelo says:

          Malcolm, unfortunately you suffer from the disadvantage of being wrong- context and whataboutism are totally two different concepts. Whataboutism is flawed reasoning. The premise here is the genocide being committed in Gaza not what you think Naledi Pandor or the ANC is doing or not doing. I honestly do wonder if we just peruse here and comment

          • Malcolm McManus says:

            The definition may say its flawed reasoning because some old fart a few decades ago defined it as such, but I believe the inventor of the word may have erred in his reasoning and logic. In context, Whataboutism is much broader than the basic definition.

        • Gerrie Pretorius says:

          Yes! You are spot-on. It is the hypocrisy of the anc regime that is being questioned.

    • P S says:

      Malcolm McManus gets it.
      Balding hands with known dictators and oppressors, accepting funding from know terrorists orginizations. but then doing a pr stunt for peace in Gaza.
      You can’t take this case to the ICJ, after ignoring and refusing requests from the same ICJ to issue a warrant of arrest for Vladimir Putin if he set foot in RSA not too long ago.
      And I jus

      • John P says:

        To whom are you referring to re accepting funding from known terrorist organisations?
        SA did not refuse to issue an arrest warrant for Putin, the ICC had already done that. Luckily for our government they did not have act as Putin did not come here.

        • Rod H MacLeod says:

          You want to explain the Omar-al-Bashir experience in the same light? There is tension between the ICJ and the AU members regarding accountability for mass atrocities committed in Africa – the AU accuses the ICJ of bias against African rulers because they perceive this as an adjunct of imperialism encroaching on Africa’s sovereignty. However, if on the one hand (and South Africa has done this before) you argue that there can be no encroachment on sovereignty, how can you argue FOR encroachment in the Israel-Hamas matter?
          To be called out on the puerile “whataboutism” defence is just pathetic. It’s not “whataboutism”, it is simply a proposition to get perspective on the hypocritical position of Naledi Pandora and her team – on the one hand you claim sovereignty issues when dealing with the non-arrest of Omar-al-Bashir, but on the other you want a sovereignty intervention in Israel, but not in Ukraine, not in Yemen, not in Somalia – just Israel.

          • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

            Expect the same response here Rod. Unfortunately, as the saying goes “if it aint Jews, it aint news”.

          • John P says:

            I think you may have responded to the wrong comment, I see no connection to my comment in your reply.

  • Bob Fraser says:

    Bob F – May 17th 2024 at 07:33
    One cannot and should not criticize South Africa for their stance in this matter but it would be good just for once to hear the ANC say something against Putin and Hamas. Forget the fact that Putin started a war and that Hamas’s action was purely terrorism ANC and their irk have clearly shown their support of terrorists.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      And the 50+ plus year of ‘occupation’ and ‘hostaging’ of thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails during that time (besides the summary ‘executions/assassinations’) is just an ‘accident’ .. but not terrorism ?

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    A court can only act within its jurisdiction. The Israeli side is only going through the motions defending this action because their lawyers know (as presumably do ours) that , firstly there has been no finding of genocide and no facts to support that absurd accusation ( and endlessly repeating it doesn’t make it so,) and secondly that this court does not have the power to order a war to stop. SA has been sent packing twice now over this opportunistic showboating and this will be the third.

    • Luke S says:

      Did you know that under international law, it is illegal to even engage in a war in a territory that you already occupy? Your next thoughts may be “They started it! They fire rockets!”, well then how about not occupying the territory, change the Israeli flag to half Israel, half Palestine, allow everyone and their families who were born there in the last three generations the same rights, including to stand for, and vote for government. Ok?

      • Michael Thomlinson says:

        There is no legal or illegal in war – there is just war. Open your eyes and look at what is going on in other countries: Ukraine, Syria, Sudan etc etc. The aggressors don’t give a toffee about what is legal they just see money and power. It does not matter what SA does at the ICJ – Hamas will continue to fight Israel in an effort to wipe them out and the Israelies will continue to flatten Gaza.

        • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

          All true, except that Israel has not, and does not “continue to flatten” Gaza. True there is an urban war being carried out against Hamas in a very restricted area, true there is destruction of infrastructure (which Hamas has planned for, for decades, by building a tunnel network below, which the IDF is destroying), but if Israel wanted to “flatten” Gaza – it could have done it in a few hours. That’s what USA / Russia / China / Iran (pick any other country with a strong military) would, most likely, have done if an enclave bordering its sovereign state had staged a massacre and mass kidnapping of its citizens. Instead Israel and the IDF has behaved with restraint, with the lowest civilian collateral death rate ever recorded (1 civilian for 1 fighter), which will be studied and attempted at emulation by every urban warfare scientist who values life (read western civilization) in future.

          • Kanu Sukha says:

            Right … they only flattened 60/70 % of it till now, with American bunker busting bombs ! No wonder the Americana are running scared of their complicity in the genocide, and as a sideshow to try and deflect attention from this fact … building a temporary pier for aid supplies. How disingenuous can zionist huggers get ?

        • Luke S says:

          Unless… the original issue that is the cause of all of this is resolved, like the country you live in did. Share the land, give everyone who lives there equal rights. There will always be some extremists who can’t let go of the past, the “Kill the Boer” and the “Swart gevaar” people, but look – we did it. No more terrorism in our country. I remember growing up in the eighties with pictures of landmines and limpit mines in our schools and frequent bomb scares. Do you want that SA back? Do you think Israel should also do the right thing to stop all the anger and resentment, i.e. share the land with all who live there and were living there within living memory, and give everyone equal rights, or do you think they should continue with their policies of “some people are more important than others” attitude? Don’t we all want to live in a world where religion is a personal thing, and not a government policy, and we’re all just humans being treated equally? I do. Most of us do. We proved it in 1994.

          • John P says:

            Well put Luke, regretfully though your views will not sway the those who believe Israel can do no wrong. A negotiated settlement is indeed the only way forward and eventually it will come to that.

          • Acwam 58 says:

            You speak unadultreated BS

    • Steve Davidson says:

      Maybe the problem is that there is way too much Zionist support in the West and the countries that should be taking the matter to the ICJ are too brainwashed to do it, so SA had to.

      • Malcolm McManus says:

        Steve, I hear you, but the same can be said about many countries that take sides on the opposite sides of the fence. By people, I refer to leaders of various countries in particular with their own agendas. I was watching a documentary where two victims of the Israeli Palestinian conflict on different sides of the fence were having a positive conversation with each other about their respective hurt they had experienced with the loss of family members owing to the conflict. Neither held animosity towards each other and had a very positive attitude towards wanting to have the conflict resolved and to live in peace side by side. I am hoping this is indicative of how most normal people in this region would feel, because it would go a long way to hopefully seeing an end to this conflict. Over so many years, some people would tend to teach their children intolerance and hatred from a young age, but hopefully this relates to the minority.

        • Luke S says:

          The utopian dream you paint Mr. McManus, I agree should be everyone’s goal. However, it can only be possible if people are freed from their cages, not by killing civilians in a tit-for-tat when they resist. Please tell me when Israel has offered this?

      • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

        SA, the world’s bastion of morality.
        Davidson, one of DM’s ever-present antisemites

        • Luke S says:

          It’s always about religion for you isn’t it? Not land, not freedom, not death, just religion. So please do inform us how it plays a part, other than your accusations of the people who criticise the actions there? How does your religion play a part in Israel’s actions? if it doesn’t according to you, then leave the topic out of the discussions please. If it does, please enlighten us how it should be taken into account in this conflict?

        • Steve Davidson says:

          No ways. I’m pro-Semites, the real ones: Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Palestinians. It’s just the Ashke-nazis I can’t stand.

      • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

        Thank you Steve, Ukraine had EU and Nato support even before the war started, the matter went to ICC before anyone could breathe war, African leaders created a peace initiative which the EU and Nato countries showed no interest in, their solution is weapons which they make billions selling to Ukraine.
        In Palestine they side with the aggressor, they moved in to make sure no one helps the Palestinians, South africa’s stance is applauded.
        In a similar state of illegal occupation the same group supporting the aggressor sanctioned the former apartheid government, why not the same to Israel.
        Its only an idiot who fails to appreciate the efforts being done to avert deaths of unprecedented proportions through Israel’s barbaric war crimes.
        South africa supports Ukraine although its difficult to bypass the players who have decided how this must be solved but it doesn’t mean south africa supports Russia’s aggression, when the leaders go to Russia they go for normal bilateral business that existed before the illegal invasion, they don’t go to encourage Russia to invade more.
        DM allocates equal space for both aggressions, perhaps it will help to respond according to the heading of the article.
        Russian aggression and occupation is wrong, Israel occupation and aggression is equally wrong, the west arms the victims in Ukraine and the aggressor in Palestine, what is so confusing?

        • Rod H MacLeod says:

          Have you actually read what you say about SA’s leaders going to Russia? Do you ever read any reports on that? Mbalula’s visit escape your attention, did it?

          • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

            Mbalula went on a party to party trip not a government trip, we are talking south Africa as a state.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      And the report of the UN Special Rapporteur confirming genocide was just another ‘smear’ of the Zionists I guess ?

  • mike van wyk says:

    The bottomline is that Israel’s right under international law to defend itself against any entity be it state or individuals which pose an existential threat to its citizens and the state. As there is no clear divide between the Arab civilian population within Gaza and Hamas as the militia that form Hamas are in fact supported and drawn from the Gaza civilian population. Furthermore, it is well documented that Gaza civilians are complicit with Hamas, as the majority agree openly to the aims and goals of Hamas. The ICJ therefore cannot force Israel to stand down and relinquish their right to self defence. All the ICJ can rule on is that Israel should minimise the impact of the war on Arab civilians within Gaza – which is near impossible based on the particular relationship between the civilian population and Hamas. South Africa is simply wasting its breath at the ICJ. I find the SA interest in this particular war hypocritical as there has been no such action taken at the ICJ in relation to Ukraine in which a far greater number of people have been killed by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

    • Luke S says:

      Mike, why do you repeatedly use the word “Arab”? People are people surely, and shouldn’t be grouped by their religion or ethnicity?

  • Wendy Dewberry says:

    Yes I was also wondering about the legal standing of courts to stop war. These are two separate institutions with separate frames of reference. Nevertheless I listened to part this argument on SAfm yesterday afternoon. It struck me like a brick how Netanyahu is another Hitler on so many levels. On his ethnic hatred, genocidal actions and most surprising to me, on the support he is getting from his people. So many parallels to world War 2.

  • Steve Davidson says:

    While I – for a change – fully support the government, I really wish they wouldn’t wear those scarves all the time. Or will I be accused of ‘insulting the scarf’ or something like that?

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      How many are left wondering who won the scarf tender?

      • Kanu Sukha says:

        For one who ‘complained’ elsewhere about ‘others’ who spend their ‘whole day’ responding to comments .. you seem to be doing the same .. with great relish/gusto it seems ? Isn’t there a word that describes that ?

    • Agf Agf says:

      I made a comment which was removed (well it disappeared) about the scarves. Also about the First Class Flights and Five Star hotels. I’m not sure why it was considered particularly objectionable.

  • Why aren’t the South Africans asking for the Palestinian government (Hamas) to hand Israel back it’s hostages? Why aren’t they demanding that this be done immediately, since Palestine is now a member of the United Nations?
    Is this how UN countries behave?

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      It goes further. SA is specifically calling for this cessation and withdrawal “unconditionally”, which is to say – specifically NOT mentioning that there are any hostages being held, not acknowledging that Hamas and/or the hostages even exist, let alone calling for their release. This is tantamount to de facto demands / language of the legal arm of Hamas itself, which of course is what this legal team is.

    • John P says:

      Palestine is not a member of the UN, they have only non member observer status. There was a vote recently to admit them, it was vetoed by the US.

      As to the behavior of UN countries you only have to look as far as China and Russia to see how they behave.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    What hypocrites! If these murderous psychopaths and callous killers from Hamas weren’t stopped on October 7 they would have advanced into the whole of Israel, killing, raping, beheading, burning etc. If the Israeli casualties were 20 or 30 times that number, would these bleeding hearts be more appeased that numbers were more equal as with the so many tens of thousands Palestinians that have perished (HAMAS & UN figures, both of which can’t be trusted). There has ben a lot of destruction and deaths – the point is that we all want a just and secure peace in that region and being totally biased and in the camp of one of the of proponents, as with some of these comments, will not lead anywhere.

    • Luke S says:

      One of SA’s requests in this most recent court action, is to allow independents in to assess the situation objectively. Israel won’t allow it. But only “some” of these comments are based on propaganda, and the rest can absolutely be taken as fact?

  • Iran is pulling the strings on this. Have been all along forgetting their own human rights violations and oppression of women.

    • James Leroy says:

      I agree. I cannot believe that this is not mentioned. Putin was in Iran just two weeks before the attack by HAMAS in October. This has got nothing to do with Israel or Palestine. It is a move by the anti-west brigade to alienate the west. They are using the Palestinians and Israelis to suit their own agenda. The anc simply chooses anybody over the west. They don’t care if it is right or wrong.

    • John P says:

      This is pure speculation unless you can provide something approaching proof.

  • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

    The legal wing of Hamas

  • Geoff Coles says:

    The President of the ICJ is a Moslem. Watch this space!..

    • Mordechai Yitzchak says:

      Here are the current judges on the panel of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) along with their nationalities:

      Nawaf Salam (Lebanon) – President of the Court since February 6, 2024.
      Julia Sebutinde (Uganda) – Vice-President of the Court since February 6, 2024.
      Peter Tomka (Slovakia) – Vice-President of the Court.
      Ronny Abraham (France).
      Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) – Former President of the Court.
      Xue Hanqin (China).
      Dalveer Bhandari (India).
      Iwasawa Yuji (Japan).
      Georg Nolte (Germany).
      Hilary Charlesworth (Australia).
      Leonardo Nemer Caldeira Brant (Brazil).
      Juan Manuel Gómez Robledo (Mexico).
      Sarah H. Cleveland (United States of America).
      Bogdan-Lucian Aurescu (Romania).
      Dire Tladi (South Africa)

  • Tima B says:

    This nightmare will end and Palestine will be free. Thank you to South Africa for their actions.

  • Malusi Ndungane says:

    While they’re at it could they also order war to cease in Ukraine, Sudan, DRC and Yemen, and the reversal of the expulsions of peoples in Nagornokarabak, the end of the persecution of Uigers in China and the release of Julian Assange. Thanks.

  • Mike Newton says:

    Does that include Hamas stopping the rockets?

  • Brian Doyle says:

    What appears to be lost by the South African Government that it is actually arguing in favour of a Terrorist group. I recently read a book which described all terrorists as Barbarians who kill innocent people as opposed to Murderers who kill specific people. Neither deserve support or sympathy

    • Luke S says:

      Arguing in favour of freedom. Nelson Mandela was one of the founders of the armed wing of the ANC during Apartheid. When you don’t have your freedom, and the world only hears the propaganda of your occupiers, sometimes people take to extremes. I’m not in any way condoning Hamas or their actions, but they don’t just come out of a vacuum. They come from people who have had enough of being in cages, taken from their homeland that they were living in within living memory.
      If Israel could share the land instead of trying to get rid of the people who were forcibly moved out of it to create Israel, maybe there’s a chance that there wouldn’t be so much anger, resentment and terrorism. Don’t you think? Look up SA history online list-umkhonto-wesizwe-operations. Not excusable either, forgiven, because we are all now sharing the land and have the same equal rights. Maybe Israel should give that a try? Or don’t you agree with this? If you don’t, why are you here and not there then?

    • John P says:

      Whilst I do not support most of the actions of Hamas one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. As Bloomberg like to point out in almost every article on this war – “Hamas, designated a terrorist organisation by the USA and Europe”. That could also read NOT designated a terrorist organisation by most of the world.

      There is always a reason terrorist organisations/freedom fighters come into being, they do not just occur in a vacuum.

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    And the hostages? Nobody has asked Hamas to liberate them?

  • Acwam 58 says:

    In my mind, both Vusi Madonsela and Zane Dangor are amongst the liars and thieves that pre-suppose to lead my country. It is my belief that Iranian money was paid to our pseudo-leaders to present this (ill-founded) claim to the ICJ. This is merely one terrorist orginasation supporting another.
    Go ISRAEL .

  • PJ T says:

    You want a ceasefire?
    Release all the hostages!!!!!!

  • Mike Newton says:

    First, does anyone really believe that a ruling by the court will make any difference?
    Second, why has Hamas been told to stop launching rockets and release the live hostages and repatriate the bodies of those it has killed

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