Declaration of PAPSN in Support of South Africa’s Application to the International Court of Justice Regarding Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

The Pan-African Palestine Solidarity Network (PAPSN) express its profound appreciation for South Africa’s urgent application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel for violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in Gaza. The application asserts that “Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” and requests the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to indicate provisional measures, including for Israel to stop the aggression, allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, and stop and reverse the systematic forced displacement, in order to protect Palestinian rights from “further, severe and irreparable harm.”

The urgency of this application is underscored by the dire situation in Palestine, notably in Gaza. Thirty six UN experts have condemned Israel’s “genocide in the making” against 2.3 million Palestinians in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. The leading international law scholar on the crime of genocide, William Schabas, has stated in a legal opinion that indeed there is a serious risk that Israel is committing the crime of genocide in Gaza. Prominent genocide and Holocaust studies scholar Omer Bartov as well as over 880 international scholars, the US-based Center for Constitutional Rights, and Palestinian human rights organizations have also warned of an unfolding genocide. Prominent Israeli genocide scholar Raz Segal and ex-Director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York, Craig Mokhiber, have called it a “text-book case of genocide.”

Given the complete failure of the UN Security Council, under US pressure, to take meaningful action and Israel’s blatant refusal to comply with the UNGA resolutions demanding an immediate ceasefire, supported by the overwhelming majority of states including African states, we urgently call upon all State Parties to the Genocide Convention to provide full support to the ICJ proceedings, particularly the implementation of provisional measures proposed by South Africa.  

African states have repeatedly sought recourse at the International Court of Justice – whether The Gambia’s successful application regarding the genocide in Myanmar or Mauritius’ claim against the UK regarding the Chagos Islands. We ask our states to continue to uphold the rule of international law against a world where “might makes right” and defend African agency in  international institutions.

We remind African governments of their commitment under the African Union statute, which directly links the liberation of Africa to the struggle against colonialism, Zionism and apartheid. This support is essential to uphold our collective values and to reinforce our stand against occupation and injustice on a global scale.

We emphasize the crucial responsibility of African nations to vigilantly ensure their non-complicity, either directly or indirectly, in any actions that may support or perpetuate apartheid and genocide. This responsibility extends beyond mere non-participation; it necessitates a proactive stance in scrutinizing and discontinuing any forms of economic, military, or political support that could be construed as endorsing or aiding these severe human rights violations. This includes agreements with Israel regarding African migrant workers to be sent to replace Palestinians and fuel Israel’s apartheid economy as well as the possible participation in Israel’s plans of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population in Gaza.

It is imperative that African countries uphold their commitment to human rights and justice by actively preventing any association or contribution to these oppressive practices. This ethical obligation aligns with the values and principles of the African Union and the broader international community’s commitment to safeguarding human dignity and freedom.

Power to Africa!
Freedom for Palestine!