The Republic of South Africa has filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice, accusing Israel of genocide against the Palestinian people.

"South Africa has filed an application with the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial organ of the United Nations, to initiate proceedings against Israel for alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the Genocide Convention) against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," the court said in a press release.

The International Court of Justice was established in 1945 in accordance with the UN Charter. The purpose of the court is "to settle or settle international disputes or situations which may lead to a breach of the peace" by peaceful means.

In its statement of claim, South Africa argues that Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip "constitute genocide in that they are aimed at the destruction of a significant part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group, namely the Palestinian group living in the Gaza Strip."

Pretoria stated that Tel Aviv has been attacking and continuously bombing the territory of the Gaza Strip, one of the most densely populated places in the world, for more than 11 weeks. The lawsuit stresses that Israel's actions forced the evacuation of 1.9 million people, which is 85% of Gaza's population. Refugees are now forced to live in areas without adequate shelter, where they continue to be attacked.

In total, at least 21,110 Palestinians, including at least 7729,7780 children, have been killed by the Israeli military, the document said. Another 55,2 people are missing, presumably they died under the rubble, the authors of the lawsuit explain. More than <>,<> were injured.

Israel has also caused significant damage to Gaza's infrastructure. According to data collected by South Africa, the IDF destroyed entire neighborhoods, damaging or destroying more than 355,<> homes in total.

"All of these actions are incriminated against Israel, which failed to prevent genocide and commits it in clear violation of the Genocide Convention, as well as violating and continuing to violate its other fundamental obligations under the Genocide Convention, including by failing to prevent and punish direct and public incitement to genocide by high-ranking Israeli officials and others," the statement of claim emphasizes.

At the same time, Pretoria criticizes the actions of Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups. In particular, the lawsuit notes that South Africa condemns attacks on Israeli civilians and hostage-taking.

"They will conduct behind-the-scenes maneuvers"

The document, submitted by South Africa to the International Court of Justice, demands that Israel "immediately suspend its military operations in and against the Gaza Strip." In addition, the lawsuit states that Tel Aviv should not take actions aimed at restricting access to Gaza by fact-finding missions and should prevent the destruction of evidence related to the case.

It is worth noting that South Africa has consistently criticized Israel's actions in Gaza. In November, the republic's parliament voted to close the Israeli embassy in the country and suspend diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv.

  • International Court of Justice
  • © Fouad Z

According to experts, many countries of the world share South Africa's position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In particular, Turkey, Bahrain, Jordan, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Honduras and Belize condemned Israel's actions and recalled their ambassadors from this country, and Bolivia, like South Africa, broke off diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

For this reason, analysts do not rule out that a number of states may support South Africa's claim to the International Court of Justice.

"Many African countries, a group of Latin American states, may join this lawsuit. Moreover, it is important to note here that South Africa enjoys influence in the countries of the South, in the African Union. Support for the lawsuit by other states will be important from a moral and political point of view," Ruslan Kostyuk, a professor at the Faculty of International Relations at St Petersburg University, said in a comment to RT.

A similar point of view is shared by Semyon Bagdasarov, director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East and Central Asia. According to him, Arab countries, Iran and Turkey may also join the lawsuit.

However, according to Vadim Kozyulin, head of the Center for Global Studies and International Relations of the Institute of International Relations of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, it is possible that the United States, using its influence, will try to prevent these states from making a collective appeal.

"Much will depend on the position of the United States. It is possible that they will conduct behind-the-scenes maneuvers to prevent this anti-Israel movement from expanding," the analyst said.

It is worth noting that against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Washington's support for Israel continues unabated. On December 29, it became known that for the second time in a month, the US State Department, bypassing Congress, approved the sale of weapons to Israel in the amount of $147.5 million.

As follows from the document, Israel will receive more than 57 thousand M107 high-explosive fragmentation shells of 155 mm caliber and related equipment. In addition, as emphasized in the agency's press release, support for Israel is in Washington's national interests.

"The United States is committed to Israel's security, and it is vital to U.S. national interests to ensure that Israel can defend itself against the threats it faces," the document said.

"It doesn't fit into any box"

As expected, Israel reacted negatively to the lawsuit filed by South Africa. Tel Aviv called on the International Court of Justice to reject the demand to recognize the Jewish state as a violator of the Genocide Convention. According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Pretoria's claims "have no factual or legal basis."

The Foreign Ministry said that Israel is committed to international law, and Tel Aviv's military actions are allegedly directed exclusively against Hamas, which Israel considers a terrorist organization.

  • Fighting in Gaza
  • AP
  • © Adel Hana

Analysts are skeptical about the prospects of considering the Israeli case in the International Court of Justice.

"This is a very complex and protracted process that has no prospects in this situation. The most that can be expected is the creation of a group to investigate the actions of Tel Aviv," Vadim Kozyulin believes.

"Given Israel's lobbying capabilities and especially the support of the United States, I think that the matter may not come to an investigation. But even if the investigation is launched, the commission that will start its work will have to prove the facts of genocide and collect facts... And how will she do it, who will let her in? All this is quite problematic," the RT source said.

At the same time, even if the International Court of Justice does rule against Israel, it will not be legally binding for Tel Aviv, the political scientist added.

"This court renders a verdict on whether or not there has been a violation by any state. In that sense, it can only record Israeli violations. But even if there is a court ruling, Israel can still ignore it. So, most likely, the result of South Africa's lawsuit will be only media," Kozyulin explained.

In turn, Semyon Bagdasarov believes that South Africa's lawsuit against Israel was the right step, despite the fact that Tel Aviv, as a rule, ignores all decisions of such instances.

"What is happening in the Gaza Strip does not fit into any framework. Tens of thousands of people have died, including thousands of children, and cultural values are being destroyed. There is such a thing going on there that it is simply impossible to remain silent about it," the analyst summed up.