Senior counsel Adila Hassim SC began South Africa’s case by giving details of what led to the genocidal allegations.
She said the actions show systematic conduct in an area that Israel controls – all access, from people, to water, service and internet access. For 96 days, she said, Israel has subjected Gaza to one of the heaviest conventional bombing attacks in recent history.
The people of Gaza are also in danger from death by starvation and disease, especially with aid provision extremely difficult.
She emphasised that South Africa is not asking for a final decision, but that some of the acts might fall within the definition. These are documented in detail and confirmed by reliable, often UN, sources.
She said that statistics she quoted were from the UN, accurate to 9 January. She explained the team would limit the use of audio-visual material, out of respect for victims.
- Sign up for Aliran's free daily email updates or weekly newsletters or both
- Make a one-off donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB a/c 8004240948
- Make a pledge or schedule an auto donation to Aliran every month or every quarter
- Become an Aliran member
The first claim is the mass killings of Palestinians in Gaza. The UN secretary general admitted five weeks ago there is no safe place in Gaza. Over 23,000 have been killed, at least 70% women and children. The level of killing is so extensive they are buried, often unidentified, in mass graves.
Two thousand-pound bombs have been dropped in the south, which is supposed to be safe.
Israel has killed an unparalleled number of civilians: 1,800 families have lost multiple members, some families have no survivors. Hassim said these actions are deliberate, and not even newborns are safe.
The second genocidal action is the infliction of serious mental and bodily harm – close to 60,000 wounded and maimed, most of them women and children. This within the context of a collapsed healthcare system.
The third act is the deliberate imposition of conditions that cannot sustain life. The forced displacement of 85%, and those people have no safe place to go. Many have been displaced a number of times.
The first order demanded the evacuation of a million people within 24 hours, and even required the evacuation of newborns in intensive care.
This expulsion is also permanent as homes and suburbs are rubble. There is no indication that Israel plans on rebuilding; rather there are videos of the celebration of the destruction.
Experts predict more may die from starvation and disease than violence, but Israel continues to obstruct aid. On 8 January, a UN mission to supply a hospital was denied, the fifth denial since 26 December. There is no clean water, and diseases such as diarrhoea are rife and often deadly.
Another act is the military assault on the healthcare system. The wounded are deprived of life-saving medical care. The system can’t cope.
And finally, there are acts that suggest Israel is actively preventing reproduction. These acts are against women, children and babies, and including an attempt to prevent births: 180 births each day, and 15% are likely to experience complications, and no help is available. The killing, injuring and leaving a large number of children orphaned.
Genocide is never broadcast. The past 13 weeks have given proof of genocide and it continues. The people deserve and demand the protection of the courts.
Uploaded to YouTube by SABC News