In accordance with Articles 36 (1) and 40 of the Statute of the Court and Article 38 of the Rules of Court, I have the honour to submit this Application instituting proceedings in the name of the Republic of South Africa (“South Africa”) against the State of Israel (“Israel”). Pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute, the Application includes a request that the Court indicate provisional measures to protect the rights invoked herein from imminent and irreparable loss.
1. This Application concerns acts threatened, adopted, condoned, taken and being taken by the Government and military of the State of Israel against the Palestinian people, a distinct national, racial and ethnical group, in the wake of the attacks in Israel on 7 October 2023. South Africa unequivocally condemns all violations of international law by all parties, including the direct targeting of Israeli civilians and other nationals and hostage-taking by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups. No armed attack on a State’s territory no matter how serious — even an attack involving atrocity crimes — can, however, provide any possible justification for, or defence to, breaches of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (‘Genocide Convention’ or ‘Convention’),1 whether as a matter of law or morality.