Namibia backs South Africa’s case against Israel

Namibia has thrown its support behind South Africa’s move to bring Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), aiming to end its military operations in Gaza.

The case will be heard at the ICJ in The Hague, The Netherlands, today.

South Africa’s legal team will present their oral arguments, followed by Israel’s representatives, who will present their oral arguments tomorrow.

“On the basis of our firm position to the Palestinian cause, Namibia supports the timely initiative taken by the Republic of South Africa,” international relations and cooperation executive director Penda Naanda said yesterday.

He said Namibia supports international efforts promoting the rights of the Palestinian people, citing the Namibia’s history of facing illegal occupation and apartheid.

So far, more than 23 000 Palestinians have lost their lives, and close to 60 000 have been injured in Israeli attacks primarily focused on hospitals and residential areas.

The Israeli military operations were triggered after militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented assault on Israel from the Gaza Strip on 7 October, killing 1 200 people and taking about 240 hostages.

Naanda urged all states to fulfil their obligations and halt the ongoing acts of genocide against Palestinian people.

“Namibia would welcome the indication of provisional measures by the ICJ for Israel to immediately comply with its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention,” he said.

Namibia maintains the imposition of conditions in Gaza endangering the physical destruction of Palestinians qualify as genocide.

“No peace-loving human being can ignore the carnage waged against Palestinians in Gaza,” president Hage Geingob said during his New Year’s message recently.

The ICJ hearings will focus on addressing South Africa’s application seeking provisional measures.

South Africa’s request aims to safeguard the Palestinian people’s rights under the Genocide Convention, ensuring Israel’s compliance with its obligations to prevent and punish genocide and prevent further irreparable harm.

According to a report by Al Jazeera, Eylon Levy, a spokesperson for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Tuesday accused South Africa of “giving political and legal cover” to the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel, which triggered the three-month-long war.

He said Israel will appear before the ICJ to dispel South Africa’s absurd reference to “blood libel”.

Tuliameni Kalomoh, Namibia’s former ambassador to the United States, has expressed pride in South Africa for its decision taken against Israel.

“My immediate reaction was pride and delight about the action South Africa has taken in support of the Palestinian people in the real genocide being committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.

“I was particularly proud as a citizen of Namibia, a country that suffered a genocide in the 20th century,” he said.

Kamoloh said the global community should not stand by and allow war to continue unabated.

“The people cannot stand with their arms folded in the face of an obvious criminal act of genocide committed by a heavily armed occupant against defenceless men, women and innocent children,” he said.

Progressive International in a statement on Monday said parties to the Genocide Convention are obliged to act to prevent genocide.

“A declaration of intervention filed with the ICJ in support of the South African case against Israel is one way to ensure that all acts of genocide are stopped and those responsible are held accountable,” the organisation said.

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