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Protesters hold a Palestinian flag as they gather outside the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Reuters

South Africa asks World Court for additional measures against Israel

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South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order additional emergency measures against Israel, which it says is breaching the measures already in place.

In its application, South Africa warned that Palestinians in Gaza faced starvation and asked the court to order that all parties cease hostilities and release all hostages and detainees. The South African presidency says the people of Gaza cannot wait.

“The threat of all-out famine has now materialised. The court needs to act now to stop the imminent tragedy by immediately and effectively ensuring that the rights it has found are threatened under the Genocide Convention are protected,” it added.

South Africa also asked the court to order that Israel take “immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address famine and starvation” in Gaza.

It added that the ICJ  should take these measures without scheduling a new round of hearings because of the “extreme urgency of the situation”.

In January the ICJ ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and to ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians, after South Africa accused Israel of state-led genocide in Gaza.

Israel and its Western allies described the allegation as baseless. A final ruling in the case could take years.

An October Hamas-led attack on southern Israeli communities triggered the current conflict in Gaza. Israel says the Hamas attack killed 1,200 people. It also says another 253 were taken hostage.

In the five months since, Palestinian authorities say Israel has killed over 30,000 people in blockaded Gaza, displaced most of its 2.3 million people, caused widespread hunger and disease, and laid waste to much of the territory.

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