South Africa justice minister at international court: ‘Israel has crossed the line’

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

South Africa’s Justice Minister Ronald Lamola at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, January 11, 2024 (Screen grab)
South Africa’s Justice Minister Ronald Lamola at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, January 11, 2024 (Screen grab)

THE HAGUE — South Africa’s Justice Minister Ronald Lamola charges at the International Court of Justice that Palestinians have suffered at the hands of Israel since 1948.

“The violence and the destruction in Palestine did not begin on October 7, they have experienced violence for the last 76 years,” Lamola says.

“In the Gaza Strip since 2004 Israel exercises control over land crossings, civilian infrastructure. Entry and exit to Gaza is strictly prohibited, with Israel operating the only entry points,” he says. However, as the enclave also shares a land crossing with Egypt.

“Gaza is still considered to be under occupation by international law,” he says.

“South Africa unilaterally condemned the targeting of civilians by Hamas and taking of hostages on October 7, 2023,” he says. “That said, no attack, however serious, can justify breaches to the convention whether as a matter of law or morality.”

“Israel has crossed this line, and breached the [genocide] convention,” he says. “This is why South Africa has filed this case.”

Lamola concludes by invoking Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement that the moral arc of the universe is long, but bends towards justice.

The war was sparked by the October 7 Hamas terror onslaught in which some 1,200 people in Israel were killed and approximately 240 kidnapped and held hostage in Gaza, mainly civilians.

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