Turkey seeks to join South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at ICJ

Foreign minister says Ankara will submit a formal request to the International Court of Justice to join the case.

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan says Turkey will join in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“Upon completion of the legal text of our work, we will submit the declaration of official intervention before the ICJ with the objective of implementing this political decision,” Fidan said on Wednesday at a joint news conference with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

“Turkey will continue to support the Palestinian people in all circumstances,” he said.

The ICJ has 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.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in January that Turkey was providing documents for the case at the top United Nations court, also known as the World Court.

Turkey will join Colombia in formally requesting to join the case against Israel. Last month, the South American country called on the ICJ to allow it to join the case and to ensure “the safety and, indeed, the very existence of the Palestinian people”.

The ICJ may allow states to intervene in cases and give their views.

Israel and its Western allies have described South Africa’s allegations as baseless. A final ruling in the case could take years.

In a separate case on Tuesday, the ICJ ruled against issuing emergency measures over German arms sales to Israel as requested by Nicaragua, which had argued that there was a serious risk of genocide in Gaza during Israel’s assault.

Germany has denied the accusations.

Food supplies

In the emergency measures issued in March, judges at the ICJ also ordered Israel to take all necessary and effective action to ensure basic food supplies arrive without delay to the Palestinian population in Gaza as a famine loomed in some parts of the territory.

Crippling food shortages resulted from Israel severely restricting supplies of humanitarian aid and pressing on with its military assault, which began nearly seven months ago.

Rights groups and officials including USAID chief Samantha Power have said famine is already happening in northern Gaza.

The war has so far killed at least 34,568 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to Palestinian authorities. More than 80 percent of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been displaced, and entire neighbourhoods have been levelled in Israel’s bombardment and ground invasion.

In Hamas’s October 7 attacks on southern Israel, 1,139 people were killed and about 250 were taken captive.

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