February 24, 2024

By Gerald Imray | Related Press

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — South Africa says greater than 50 international locations have expressed assist for its case on the United Nations’ prime courtroom accusing Israel of genocide in opposition to Palestinians within the warfare in Gaza.

Others, together with the US, have strongly rejected South Africa’s allegation that Israel is violating the U.N. Conference on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Many extra have remained silent.

The world’s response to the landmark case that was heard Thursday and Friday on the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice in The Hague reveals a predictable world break up with regards to the inextricable, 75-year-old drawback of Israel and the Palestinians. Sunday marks 100 days of their bloodiest ever battle.

Nearly all of international locations backing South Africa’s case are from the Arab world and Africa. In Europe, solely the Muslim nation of Turkey has publicly said its assist.

No Western nation has declared assist for South Africa’s allegations in opposition to Israel. The U.S., an in depth Israel ally, has rejected them as unfounded, the U.Ok. has known as them unjustified, and Germany stated it “explicitly rejects” them.

China and Russia have stated little about some of the momentous circumstances to come back earlier than a global courtroom. The European Union additionally hasn’t commented.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on a go to to Israel a day earlier than the courtroom proceedings started that South Africa’s allegations are “meritless” and that the case “distracts the world” from efforts to discover a lasting resolution to the battle. Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby stated genocide is “not a phrase that should be thrown round evenly, and we actually don’t imagine that it applies right here.”

“We don’t agree with what the South Africans are doing,” U.Ok. Overseas Minister David Cameron stated of the case.

Israel fiercely rejects the allegations of genocide and says it’s defending its individuals. It says the offensive is geared toward eradicating the leaders of Hamas, the militant group that runs the territory and provoked the battle by launching shock assaults on southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 individuals, primarily civilians, and taking round 250 hostages.

Blinken stated a genocide case in opposition to Israel was “notably galling” on condition that Hamas and different teams “proceed to brazenly name for the annihilation of Israel and the mass homicide of Jews.”

The U.S., the U.Ok., the EU and others classify Hamas as a terrorist group.

Israel’s army response in Gaza has killed greater than 23,000 Palestinians, in keeping with Gaza’s Well being Ministry. The depend doesn’t distinguish between combatants and civilians. It says greater than two-thirds of the lifeless are ladies and youngsters. A lot of northern Gaza has change into an uninhabitable moonscape with whole neighborhoods erased by Israeli air strikes and tank fireplace.

South Africa has additionally condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault however argues that it didn’t justify Israel’s response.

Germany’s announcement of assist for Israel on Friday, the day the hearings closed, has symbolic significance given its historical past of the Holocaust, when the Nazis killed 6 million Jews in Europe. Israel was created after World Conflict II as a haven for Jews within the shadow of these atrocities.

“Israel has been defending itself,” German authorities spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit stated. His assertion additionally invoked the Holocaust, which largely spurred the creation of the U.N. Genocide Conference in 1948.

“In view of Germany’s historical past … the Federal Authorities sees itself as notably dedicated to the Conference in opposition to Genocide,” he stated. He known as the allegations in opposition to Israel “fully unfounded.”

Germany stated it intends to intervene within the case on Israel’s behalf.

The EU has solely stated that international locations have a proper to deliver circumstances to the U.N. courtroom. Most of its member states have avoided taking a place.

Turkey, which is within the strategy of becoming a member of the EU, was a lone voice within the area. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated his nation supplied paperwork that had been getting used in opposition to Israel within the case.

“With these paperwork, Israel can be condemned,” he stated.

The Group of Islamic Cooperation was one of many first blocs to publicly again the case when South Africa filed it late final month. It stated there was “mass genocide being perpetrated by the Israeli protection forces” and accused Israel of “indiscriminate focusing on” of Gaza’s civilian inhabitants.

The OIC is a bloc of 57 international locations that features Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt. Its headquarters are in Saudi Arabia. The Cairo-based Arab League, whose 22 member international locations are virtually all a part of the OIC, additionally backed South Africa’s case.

South Africa drew some assist from outdoors the Arab world. Namibia and Pakistan agreed with the case at a U.N. Normal Meeting session this week. Malaysia additionally expressed assist.

“No peace-loving human being can ignore the carnage waged in opposition to Palestinians in Gaza,” Namibian President Hage Geingob was quoted as saying within the southern African nation’s The Namibian newspaper.

Malaysia’s Overseas Ministry demanded “authorized accountability for Israel’s atrocities in Gaza.”

China,Russia — which can be going through allegations of genocide on the planet courtroom — and the rising energy of India have largely remained silent, seemingly conscious that taking a stand in such an inflammatory case has little upside and will irreversibly upset their relationships within the area.

India’s international coverage has traditionally supported the Palestinian trigger, however Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of many first world leaders to precise solidarity with Israel and name the Hamas assault terrorism.

A handful of South American international locations have spoken up, together with the continent’s largest economic system, Brazil, whose Overseas Ministry stated President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva backed South Africa’s case. Nevertheless, the ministry’s feedback didn’t instantly accuse Israel of genocide however centered on the necessity for a cease-fire in Gaza.

South Africa’s case in opposition to Israel is two-fold: It needs the courtroom to say Israel is committing genocide and to difficulty an interim ruling ordering an finish to its army marketing campaign in Gaza. The courtroom stated it might resolve on an interim ruling quickly however, reflecting the gravity of the case, it may take years for a ultimate verdict on the genocide cost.

Brazil stated it hoped the case would get Israel to “instantly stop all acts and measures that would represent genocide.”