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Arab League Expresses Support for South Africa’s Lawsuit against Israel at ICJ

January 11, 2024

Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, has voiced his support for South Africa’s lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday 10 January. 

The lawsuit, which accuses Israel of committing genocide and violating the 1948 Genocide Convention, is set to commence its hearings on Thursday, January 11, at The Hague.

Aboul-Gheit expressed gratitude to South Africa for taking a stand against injustice and focusing on the Palestinian cause. 

He affirmed the Arab League’s full support for South Africa’s efforts through all available means. However, he mentioned that the League, as an organization, is not authorized to join the call.

At the same time, the South African government has urged Arab countries to refrain from formally joining its lawsuit against Israel. 

The government cited time constraints as the reason behind this request, explaining that it aims to proceed with the lawsuit independently. The court session is scheduled for Friday, with the preliminary session beginning on 11 January. 

The South African government expressed concern that additional complaints at this crucial time could potentially lead to a postponement of the session. Therefore, it has emphasized the importance of proceeding with the lawsuit as planned without further involvement from other countries.

Aboul-Gheit will closely monitor the legal proceedings of the case as the Arab League stands ready to offer any necessary support to serve the Palestinian cause and strengthen Palestine’s position.

The ICJ will hold two days of hearings on 11 and 12 January in response to South Africa’s emergency request. South Africa’s legal team will present their oral arguments on the first day, followed by Israel’s response on 12 January. 

South Africa’s filing with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) argues that Israel’s actions exhibit a “genocidal character,” signifying the intent to annihilate Palestinians in Gaza.

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