Skip to main content

ICJ: Journalism like TNA's underpins Gaza genocide evidence

How journalism like TNA's underpins Gaza genocide evidence used by South Africa at ICJ
3 min read
12 January, 2024
Journalists have played a crucial role in exposing Israel's crimes in Gaza to the world. Their work is being used in the historic genocide case at The Hague.
At least 115 journalists have been killed in Gaza since the start of Israel's war [Getty]

South Africa has relied heavily on Middle Eastern reporting amid Western media bias, using sources including The New Arab to build its genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), reflecting the important role of journalism in documenting evidence of war crimes in Gaza.

Hearings at the ICJ began on Thursday with South Africa presenting its case accusing Israel of genocidal acts, and Israel defending itself in court on Friday.

Since 7 October, over 23,700 people have been killed by Israel’s air and ground offensive, the vast majority women and children. Nearly 60,000 more have been injured.

South Africa’s 84-page application to the ICJ mentions The New Arab numerous times, citing four articles written by TNA. They include stories on the indiscriminate killing of civilians and the genocidal rhetoric made by several Israeli officials against Gaza's 2.3 million population.

Middle East Eye and Al Jazeera were also used as sources in the report.

The war in Gaza has been the focus of pan-Arab media for the past three months, shedding light on Israel’s horrific rights violations in the enclave.

MENA media has also played an important role in informing readers from around the world about Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories since 1948, along with the disproportionality of the war on Gaza.

As mainstream media in the West fails to fully acknowledge the reality on the ground in Gaza, largely siding with Israel’s narrative, pan-Arab outlets have reached out to English-speaking audiences to show the true scale of the devastation in the enclave, where almost the whole population has been uprooted and thousands of homes, hospitals, and education centres have been destroyed.

Journalists in Gaza have paid the ultimate price with 115 media workers - in addition to family members - killed in Israeli aggression since 7 October.

The Gaza correspondent for The New Arab's sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Diaa al-Kahlout, was detained by Israel for a month and subject to degrading treatment and torture.

Despite shadow bans and censoring, social media has also been a helpful tool in documenting atrocities in Gaza.

While most world leaders and governments have condemned Hamas' 7 October attack and the killing of civilians, many in the West have largely ignored Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza, where around half the population are children.

In recent weeks, given the scale of the destruction and massive public outcry, some of Israel's closest allies - including the US, UK, and France - have expressed concern about the colossal civilian death toll in Gaza.

UK Foreign Minister David Cameron said earlier this week he was "deeply concerned" that Israel may have breached international law.