South Africa lodges ‘urgent request’ with International Court of Justice to consider if Israeli attack on Rafah breaches provisional orders

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: PBI-Canada was present at an emergency rally in Ottawa on February 12 following the Israeli airstrikes against Rafah earlier that morning.

The Associated Press reports: “South Africa’s government said Tuesday [February 13] it had lodged an ‘urgent request’ with the U.N.’s International Court of Justice to consider whether Israel’s military operations targeting the southern Gaza city of Rafah are a breach of provisional orders the court handed down last month in a case alleging genocide.”

That article adds: “South Africa has asked the court to weigh whether Israel’s intention to launch a ground offensive in Rafah — where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled in an attempt to escape fighting — represents a ‘further imminent breach of the rights of Palestinians in Gaza’.”

Under Article 75(1) of the Rules of Court: “The Court may at any time decide to examine proprio motu whether the circumstances of the case require the indication of provisional measures which ought to be taken or complied with by any or all of the parties.”

The South African government says: “In a request submitted to the court yesterday (12 February 2024), the South African Government said it was gravely concerned that the unprecedented military offensive against Rafah, as announced by the State of Israel, has already led to and will result in further large scale killing, harm and destruction. This would be in serious and irreparable breach both of the Genocide Convention and of the Court’s Order of 26 January 2024.”

More than 100 people, including children, were reportedly killed when Israeli attacked Rafah in the early hours of Monday morning. Israel had previously designated Rafah a “safe zone” and more than 1 million displaced people are sheltering there with nowhere to go.

We continue to follow this.