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For the second time: South Africa asks ICJ to take new measures against Israel

South Africa on Wednesday petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to impose new emergency measures on Israel over what it described as the “widespread starvation” resulting from its offensive in Gaza, AFP reported.

South Africa said it was “compelled to return to the Court in light of the new facts and changes in the situation in Gaza, particularly the situation of widespread starvation” during the offensive.

Pretoria said its application may be “the last opportunity that this Court shall have to save the Palestinian people in Gaza already dying of starvation, and now ‘one step’ from famine,” citing the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The UN has warned famine is looming and desperate crowds have stopped and looted food aid trucks.

  1. “Palestinian children are starving to death as a direct result of the deliberate acts and omissions of Israel — in violation of the Genocide Convention and of the Court’s Order,” South Africa charged in its appeal to the ICJ.

It urged the court to order an “immediate halt” to fighting, the release of all hostages, the end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, and the provision of emergency aid.

  • In December, South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel in which it accused the Jewish state of carrying out genocide in Gaza.

On January 26, the ICJ handed down a ruling in South Africa’s case, saying that Israel must do everything to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza and take “immediate” measures for aid provisions. It did not, however, order Israel to stop the war in Gaza.

Wednesday’s filing marks the second time that Pretoria has asked the ICJ for additional measures against Israel.

  • Last month,the court rejected South Africa’s request that it take urgent measures to prevent Israel from operating in the Gazan city of Rafah.

South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ came amid already strained relations, as the country continues to accuse Israel of a policy of apartheid against Palestinian Arabs.

The South African government announced in November it was recalling its ambassador and entire diplomatic mission from Israel in protest against Israel’s attempts to defend itself from the Hamas terrorist organization following the October 7 massacre.

  • Later, South Africa called in Israeli Ambassador Eliav Belotsercovsky for a formal reprimand, citing “public comments” he had made.
  • In late November, a majority of South African lawmakers voted in favor of a motion calling for the closure of the Israeli embassy and the cutting of diplomatic ties until Israel agrees to a ceasefire in Gaza.

Source: Arutz Sheva