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South Africa submits 'urgent petition' to ICJ over Israel's plans for Rafah offensive

South African authorities ask the court to consider whether it should "use its powers" in the face of the imminent incursion.

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South Africa submits 'urgent petition' to ICJ over Israel's plans for Rafah offensive

South African authorities ask the court to consider whether it should "use its powers" in the face of the imminent incursion

MADRID, 13 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -

The South African authorities have presented this Tuesday an "urgent request" to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to consider whether it should "use its powers" to prevent "an imminent violation of the rights of the Palestinians" due to the plans of Israel about a military offensive against the city of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The South African Presidency said in a statement published on its website that the Government has asked the court to "consider whether the decision announced by Israel to extend its military operations in Rafah, which is the last refuge for survivors in Gaza, requires that "the court uses its powers to prevent further imminent violations of the rights of Palestinians in Gaza."

Thus, he revealed that the petition was presented on Monday due to Pretoria's "serious concern" because "the unprecedented military offensive against Rafah, announced by the State of Israel, has caused and will cause a greater number of deaths, damage and destruction". "This would represent a serious and irreparable violation of the Genocide Convention and the order issued by the court on January 26," she maintained.

"South Africa trusts that the matter will be treated with the necessary urgency, in light of the daily death toll in Gaza," he stressed, without the Israeli authorities having commented for now on South Africa's decision, which has already led to the country before the ICJ accusing the Israeli authorities of acts of genocide within the framework of their offensive against Gaza, triggered after the attacks carried out on October 7 by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

In its January ruling, the ICJ urged Israeli authorities to take "all possible measures" to protect the Palestinian population in Gaza from abuses under the Genocide Convention and, while it made no specific reference to a halt to fire in the enclave, various groups stressed that said order implied the need to stop the offensives.

The Israeli Army launched its offensive against Gaza after the aforementioned Hamas attacks, which left 1,200 dead and 240 injured. Since then, the Palestinian authorities have reported the deaths of more than 28,300 dead, to which are added 384 Palestinians who died in the West Bank and East Jerusalem due to the actions of the security forces and Israeli settlers.