Egypt Joins South Africa’s Lawsuit Against Israel for Genocide

( – The Israel-Hamas war has entered its seventh month, and despite ongoing negotiations for a ceasefire, there has been little progress in bringing the conflict to an end. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to “eradicating Hamas,” the militant group that launched a surprise attack in October, killing approximately 1,200 people. In his attempts to root out Hamas, more than 1.7 million people have been displaced in Gaza and more than 34,000 have died. In December, South Africa brought a suit against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), or World Court. Now, Egypt is looking to join.

On Sunday, May 12, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in a Facebook post “its intention to formally intervene to support the lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel.” It cites “the exacerbating gravity and scope of Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian civilians.” The ministry accuses the Jewish state of directly targeting civilians, destroying infrastructure, and displacing citizens.

Israel’s actions, according to Egypt, have created “an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.” Such actions go against international law and the Geneva Convention.

South Africa has accused Israel of perpetrating genocide. When the World Court’s first order to mitigate civilian damages did nothing, the nation asked it to add emergency measures, which it did.

Egypt’s involvement is likely to increase tensions between the two nations, which have already escalated in the face of Israel’s intent to carry out its operation in Rafah. The city borders Egypt and Israel’s actions could put years of security cooperation and agreements to the test.

Colombia signed on to the lawsuit last month and Turkey committed to doing so shortly after. However, despite the support for it, the World Court could take years to determine whether it has merit. Additionally, the ruling will not have any penalties attached to it as those handed down by the ICJ are symbolic in nature.

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