UN court concludes hearing on South Africa's plea against Israel's operations in Gaza-Xinhua

UN court concludes hearing on South Africa's plea against Israel's operations in Gaza

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-17 21:20:30

THE HAGUE, May 17 (Xinhua) -- The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday concluded its two-day hearings regarding South Africa's request to halt Israel's military offensive in Gaza.

The hearings were convened after South Africa lodged a plea to the ICJ one week ago for an order to stop Israel's military operation in Gaza.

On Thursday's session, South Africa's Ambassador to the Netherlands Vusimuzi Madonsela urged the court to order Israel to cease its military operations in Gaza, including in Rafah, and withdraw its troops from the entire Gaza Strip.

Additionally, the ambassador called for Israel to take "all effective measures" to ensure unimpeded access to Gaza for the United Nations and humanitarian aid.

Israeli Justice Ministry official Gilad Noam told the judges on Friday that Israel has been involved in a "tragic war" to defend itself, and denied South Africa's "allegations regarding genocide."

Israeli lawyer Tamar Kaplan Tourgeman emphasized Israel's "inherent right to defend itself," and urged the court to reject South Africa's request.

ICJ President Nawaf Salam concluded the hearings by saying that the court will render its order at a public sitting "as soon as possible."

The United Nations (UN) on Thursday said humanitarian aid distribution is "almost impossible" in the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing war between Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

So far, the Palestinian death toll from the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has exceeded 35,000, according to the health authorities in Gaza. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a total of 626 soldiers have been killed in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack and Israel's ensuing attacks on Gaza.