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Press Statement For Immediate Release  12 January 2024  State of Palestine Welcomes South Africa’s Legal Presentation at the International Court of Justice
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Press Statement For Immediate Release 12 January 2024 State of Palestine Welcomes South Africa’s Legal Presentation at the International Court of Justice

 

The State of Palestine welcomes and appreciates the compelling legal presentation made by the Republic of South Africa today at the International Court of Justice on Israel’s egregious and massive violations of the Genocide Convention. 

South Africa delivered unequivocal evidence that Israel is deliberately and systematically violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention. Israel is committing genocide in the Gaza Strip, failing to prevent genocide, and adopting genocidal policies and permitting hateful rhetoric and incitement that enables and excuses genocide against the Palestinian people. These abominable atrocities and crimes must be stopped, the Palestinian people must be protected, human life must be preserved.  

This is a critical moment for Palestine and a pivotal moment for the international system. It is a moment of truth and historic on many levels, not least for humanity and for the rule of law, which are under assault in Gaza. South Africa took the bold and principled step of assuming its responsibilities and obligations under the Genocide Convention because it understands that they are binding, not optional. 

This step was crucial because the international system has failed miserably to assume its responsibilities to maintain international peace and security and its obligations to prevent the crime of genocide. This political paralysis has exposed a grave and acute double standard crisis that threatens the credibility and the very viability of this system, to the detriment of all. The crimes being perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, against Palestinian men, women and children, devastating and traumatizing an entire people, have shocked the world’s conscience and require all States and all peoples to act for justice.

The international system owes South Africa a debt of gratitude because it took this step, instead of passively observing the undoing of international norms out of political expediency at the expense of human lives and existence of an entire nation. The voices of millions upon millions of people who have taken to the streets around the world are echoed in South Africa’s legal action. And the Palestinian people, in Gaza and beyond, draw hope from the affirmation that humanity, moral courage and consistency can prevail over racism, warmongering, and double standards, that there is political, legal and moral conviction to stand and act against genocide. 

This is a legal case, not a political one. The law must be measure by which this grave matter is judged, not hateful, biased spin steeped in racism, supremacy and double standards. Attempts to sabotage or overrun these historic proceedings by politicization and weaponized rhetoric must be unequivocally rejected and exposed. 

The State of Palestine trusts that the International Court of Justice, which is the highest Court in the world, will defend its independence and meet its noble obligations to uphold the law and confront impunity. 

We cannot remain silent in the face of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Palestinian people. We seek accountability and justice, to protect our people and to ensure the dignity and rights they have been too long denied.

The Palestinian people are eternally grateful to the courageous people and government of South Africa for taking a stand when it mattered the most, a stand against injustice and a stand for humanity. Our long and deep friendship, which was always founded on a mutual commitment to freedom, equality and justice, shall remain an inspirational example of active solidarity and principled partnership in pursuit of these most noble objectives. We salute South Africa and all peace loving nations and peoples around the world who are standing with the Palestinian people in their time of greatest need.

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