Professor Max du Plessis, a member of the South African legal team, says ongoing Israeli attacks on Rafah, the area it previously ordered civilians to evacuate to, clearly indicate “genocidal intent”.

Iran PressEurope: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) held hearings on Thursday to discuss a request by South Africa seeking additional emergency measures over Israel’s offensive on Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where more than one million displaced Palestinians sought shelter from Israel’s war.

The fact that Israel pushed more than one million Palestinians into Rafah and then carried out a “full-scale bombardment” of the province, all while sealing it off from aid and exposing it to famine, he said, is evidence of this intent.

This shows that Israel’s use of evacuation zones is “purely performative”, only further “endangering” Palestinian life, du Plessis added.

“Rafah as a place of refuge or place of safety remains a cruel distortion.”

Ongoing genocide ‘shocks conscience of humanity’

Another speaker, Vusi Madonsela, South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands, delivered the South African delegation’s opening statement in today’s hearing.

Ambassador Madonsela said South Africa has returned to the court to “do what it can to stop the genocide”, which he said has almost “knocked Gaza off the map” and “shocked the conscience of humanity”.

He said that since the ICJ first ordered Israel to implement measures to prevent genocidal acts, Israel has “willfully breached the binding orders of the court”, escalating its attacks on Palestinians.

The gravity of the attacks requires the court’s “urgent and speedy proceedings to preserve the rights of the Palestinian people, a commitment that South Africa takes seriously”.