Ireland to back South Africa in ICJ case against Israel

Dublin wants to widen the definition of genocide to include blocking humanitarian aid to a population, a charge Israel denies.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Ireland announced Wednesday that it would intervene in the genocide case being brought against Israel by South Africa in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said “It is for the Court to determine whether genocide is being committed. But I want to be clear in reiterating what I have said many times in the last few months; what we saw on 7 October in Israel, and what we are seeing in Gaza now, represents the blatant violation of international humanitarian law on a mass scale.”

“The taking of hostages,” he continued. “The purposeful withholding of humanitarian assistance to civilians. The targeting of civilians and of civilian infrastructure. The indiscriminate use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The use of civilian objects for military purposes. The collective punishment of an entire population. The list goes on. It has to stop.”

While the statement referenced the Hamas slaughter of 1,200 people nearly six months ago, the abduction of 253, and its use of the civilian population as human shields, almost all of the subsequent language was focused on Gazan suffering, implicitly blaming Israel for the situation.

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Martin made Ireland’s position clear in an interview later with the Guardian.

“We will be inviting the court to consider the issue of broadening how you determine whether genocide has taken place or not on the basis of an entire population being collectively punished,” based on the accusation that Israel is blocking the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, he told the British daily.

The UN and international aid agencies have reported that the Palestinians are on the brink of famine and charged that Israel is deliberately starving them by ““systematically prevent[ing] aid” from reaching the Hamas-run coastal enclave with which it is at war.

Jerusalem has called the charges “baseless,” saying that it is allowing hundreds of trucks of aid a day to go through but the chokepoints are on the Gazan side as aid organizations are not managing distribution properly.

Israel has also shown proof that the Hamas terrorists are stealing aid meant for Gazan civilians, taking over trucks as well as shooting at those who try to take supplies.

Ireland has long been one of the most anti-Israel countries in the EU. Its application to intervene on South Africa’s side in its case charging Israel with committing acts of genocide against the Palestinians during the ongoing war in Gaza joins that of Nicaragua, which in January became the first country to do so.

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Germany has applied to intervene on Israel’s behalf, rejecting the genocide charge and stating that Israel was acting in self-defense after the country suffered the worst massacre in its history and the worst against the Jewish people since the Holocaust.