ICJ begins genocide hearing against Israel, as bombing of Gaza continues

The UN has also raised alarm over the lack of aid deliveries to Gaza, warning that blocking aid and medical supplies could force the remaining three operational hospitals to close

January 11, 2024 by Peoples Dispatch
Photo: WAFA News Agency

Israeli bombardment of Gaza entered its 97th day on Thursday, January 11, as the International Court of  Justice (ICJ) began hearings on charges of genocide brought against Israel by South Africa.

South Africa presented its case in its opening and subsequent statements to the court, strongly arguing with a variety of facts and evidence that Israel is indeed committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza as well as the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. South Africa argued that genocide precedes the October 7 resistance operations carried out by Hamas, which Israel has used as a pretext to launch its latest genocidal and destructive war on Gaza.

Over a dozen countries including Malaysia, Colombia, Turkey, Venezuela, Brazil, Namibia, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and others expressed their support for South Africa’s case against Israel ahead of the proceedings.

Videos and images circulated on social media ahead of and during the proceedings showed hundreds of people gathered in the West Bank city of Ramallah to follow the livestream of the hearing and express their gratitude to South Africa.

The Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, also expressed its hope that the ICJ will issue a verdict that will deliver justice and hold Israel accountable for its countless war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of genocide. Aside from the ICJ, the International Criminal Court has also opened an online portal wherein complaints and evidence can be submitted to the ICC of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Even as the international efforts to hold Israel to account and the repercussions to its genocidal actions have been taking place, Israeli forces bombed several parts of Gaza between Wednesday and Thursday, killing and injuring scores of civilians.

40 Palestinians have been reportedly killed and injured in yet another attack near the Al-Aqsa hospital, besides seven others being killed in Khan Younis. Israeli forces have also killed at least 147 Palestinians, with the total death toll now standing well over 23,500, along with more than 59,000 injured and more than 7,000 missing.

Additionally, the United Nations and other aid groups have warned that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is worsening in the absence of enough humanitarian aid, as Israeli forces continue to block and disrupt the smooth and free movement of aid trucks, particularly in Northern Gaza.

According to the UN, only three of the 21 planned aid deliveries to Northern Gaza have been successfully completed, since the beginning of January. The lack of aid, especially medical supplies, could result in the only three remaining hospitals in Gaza also closing, putting at grave risk the tens of thousands of injured Palestinians as well as patients who were already being treated in those hospitals before Israel launched the war.

Israeli forces also continue to mount their deadly and violent military raids across the occupied West Bank, injuring at least 12 Palestinians as well as  making arrests of at least 28 Palestinians. Israeli forces have so far killed more than 340 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since launching the deadly war on Gaza last October, besides injuring more than 4,000 and arresting close to 5,900 Palestinians.