KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (CMC) — The St. Vincent and the Grenadines government says it “unequivocally supports” South Africa that has filed a complaint against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), while reiterating a demand for a ceasefire in the ongoing battle in the Gaza.
The ICJ was expected to hear a response from Israel later on Friday after South Africa outlined its genocide case on Thursday, with several countries welcoming the move amid a global chorus for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Israel has vehemently denied the accusations brought by South Africa in one of the biggest cases ever to come before an international court, one that has drawn international attention and protesters from both sides to the courthouse.
The 84-page filing by South Africa says Israel violated the 1948 Genocide Convention, drawn up in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust.
Accordingly, South Africa is urging the ICJ to make relevant orders under the Provisional Measures of Court to stop the Israeli aggression, and to prevent any further acts of genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza strip.
”The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines unequivocally supports the initiative of South Africa, and again reiterates the just demand for a cease fire. International law and elemental humanity ought to prevail over barbarism, genocide, and a wanton abuse of military might.
”St. Vincent and the Grenadines also calls for a cessation of material support and succour for Israel in Gaza provided by some governments. Those who continue to do so are complicit in genocide before our very eyes,” Kingstown said in its statement.
It said the acts in the complaint against Israel occurred during the 93 days of sustained state violence against children, women, and innocent civilians; the destruction of hospitals, schools, houses, and civilian facilities; and the intentional usage of starvation, and deprivation of water, medicine, electricity, and all other vital means of life.
Both Israel and South Africa are signatories to the United Nations Genocide Convention, which gives the ICJ — the highest UN legal body — jurisdiction to rule on disputes over the treaty.
All states that signed the convention are obliged to not commit genocide and also to prevent and punish it. The treaty defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”.
Israel has defended its actions in Gaza, where it launched a massive air and ground assault after Hamas militants crossed into Israel on Oct. 7 last year, storming through communities and killing an estimated 1,200 people, mainly civilians.
The assailants also abducted around 250 people, over half of whom are still held captive.