Palestine Applies To Join South Africa’s Genocide Lawsuit Against Israel At ICC

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Palestinian officials have applied at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for permission to join South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.

The request published Monday alleges that Israel’s ongoing military operation is “part of a systematic effort to wipe Palestinian society and its culture and social institutions from the map.”

The request to the International Court of Justice was made on behalf of the “State of Palestine” and signed by Palestinian Authority foreign ministry official Ammar Hijazi.

South Africa filed its case with the world court late last year accusing Israel of breaching the genocide convention in its military assault that has laid waste to large swaths of Gaza.

Israel denies it is committing genocide in its military operation to crush Hamas triggered by the deadly Oct. 7 attacks.

Israel is expanding its offensive in the southern city of Rafah, once the main hub of humanitarian aid operations. The Israeli invasion has largely cut off the flow of food, medicine and other supplies to Palestinians facing widespread hunger.

Israeli bombardments and ground operations in Gaza have killed more than 36,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

The court has issued three preliminary orders in the case calling on Israel to do all it can to prevent deaths in the enclave, ramp up humanitarian aid and, most recently, halt its offensive in Rafah.

It is unclear how long the court’s judges will take to rule on the request. If granted, Palestinian officials will be able to address the court in writing and during public hearings.

In their request, the Palestinians said they are directly affected by South Africa’s case against Israel.

“The Israeli onslaught has obliterated and damaged, beyond recognition, Gaza’s hospitals, mosques, churches, universities, schools, homes, shops, and infrastructure, as part of a systematic effort to wipe Palestinian society and its culture and social institutions from the map,” the request says.

The request adds that Israel is violating the court’s orders and continuing with “its genocidal acts including deliberately and systematically impeding humanitarian aid, resulting in an intentionally engineered situation of starvation and a creeping famine that is increasingly imminent.”