Corbyn heading to Hague to support South Africa's ICJ genocide case against Israel

Corbyn heading to Hague to support South Africa's ICJ genocide case against Israel
The first two hearings in South Africa's case at the ICJ accusing Israel of perpetrating genocidal acts in Gaza will take place on Thursday and Friday.
3 min read
10 January, 2024
Jeremy Corbyn has a long history of supporting the Palestinian cause [Guy Smallman/Getty-archive]

Pro-Palestinian British MP Jeremy Corbyn was heading to the Hague on Wednesday to support South Africa's International Court of Justice (ICJ) case accusing Israel of perpetrating genocidal acts in Gaza.

The first two hearings in the case will take place on Thursday and Friday at the Netherlands-based court, and will concern a request by Pretoria for provisional measures to be indicated.

The South African justice ministry said Pretoria's delegation will include senior political figures from progressive parties and movements worldwide, among them Corbyn.

"We have a responsibility to raise our voices to stop the annihilation of the Palestinian people," Corbyn said.

"This is an historic moment for humanity – and a wake-up call for our own political leaders who have sat back and watched this unconscionable massacre unfold."

The MP for London's Islington North constituency is the former leader of the UK's main opposition Labour Party.

He currently sits as an independent.

A spokesperson for the Peace and Justice Project, which Corbyn founded in 2021, said: "The Peace & Justice Project stands shoulder to shoulder with those standing up and speaking out against the brutal siege of Gaza and collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

"We are pleased that our founder is joining the South African delegation in the Hague and hope that this process can bring about the end of the devastation of Gaza and the catastrophic killing of tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children."

The filing of Pretoria's ICJ case was welcomed by Palestinian rights groups al-Haq, Al Mezan and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, who desribed it as a "principled move".

Countries including Malaysia, Turkey, and Bolivia, as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which has 57 member states, have also expressed support.

South Africa's delegation to the United Nations' highest court will be led by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, who said: "We are determined to see the end of the genocide that is currently taking place in Gaza.

"We are most encouraged by leaders of the world who have not blunted their consciousness and have stood on the right side of history by supporting a case that seeks to protect the rights of human beings, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity," he added.

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Israel is waging a war on Gaza that has so far killed more than 23,350 people, according to the devastated territory's health ministry.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Tuesday said there is "nothing more atrocious and preposterous" than the South African suit accusing his country of genocide in the strip.

Reuters contributed to this report.