The security establishment and the State Attorney’s Office are concerned that the International Court of Justice at the Hague will charge Israel with genocide in the Gaza Strip – this at the request of South Africa, which petitioned the court over the weekend.
Haaretz has learned that a senior legal expert dealing with the matter has in recent days warned IDF brass, including Chief of Staff Herzl Halevi, that there is real danger that the court will issue an injunction calling on Israel to halt its fire, noting that Israel is bound by the court’s rulings. The military and the State Attorney’s Office have already begun preparing to deal with the complaint, and a hearing on the matter will be held at the Foreign Ministry on Monday.
According to international law experts, the proceeding may cement claims of genocide against Israel, and thus lead to its diplomatic isolation and to boycott or sanctions against it or against Israeli businesses.
Unlike the International Criminal Court at the Hague, which conducts proceedings against private individuals, the International Court of Justice deals with judicial disputes between countries. Israel does not recognize the jurisdiction of the criminal court, which is conducting investigations into alleged war crimes by both Israelis and Palestinians, including in the current war.
In contrast, it is signatory to the treaty against genocide, by the power of which the court derives its authority to hear the complaint filed against Israel by South Africa. According to the court’s prior ruling, any signatory country may file a complaint against another country, even if it’s not directly harmed by it. [Continue reading…]