Middle East, Asia - Pacific

‘Morally, politically:’ Indonesia backs South Africa against Israel at ICJ

Jakarta not party to 1948 Genocide Convention, top diplomat Marsudi will deliver oral statement at ICJ, says Foreign Ministry

Riyaz ul Khaliq  | 10.01.2024 - Update : 10.01.2024
‘Morally, politically:’ Indonesia backs South Africa against Israel at ICJ


Indonesia Wednesday extended its support to South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which will start hearing a war crimes case against Tel Aviv on Thursday.

The Southeast Asian nation’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will also deliver an oral statement before the ICJ on Feb. 19 as part of the proceedings instituted by South Africa against Israel's alleged genocide committed in Gaza.

“Morally and politically, Indonesia fully supports South Africa's initiative to push the ICJ to react to the alleged genocide in Gaza," said Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, spokesman for the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

Iqbal, however, said Indonesia “cannot” join the lawsuit as Jakarta is not a party to the 1948 Genocide Convention, Antara News reported.

Marsudi’s statement next month will urge the ICJ to provide an advisory opinion as asked by the UN General Assembly.

Last month, the UN General Assembly asked for an opinion from the ICJ on the legal status and consequences arising from Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.

South Africa filed the lawsuit on Dec. 29 claiming that Israel violated the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide with its actions in Gaza since Oct. 7, requesting an injunction.

Hearings in the case are set to take place at The Hague from Thursday.

Türkiye, Bolivia and Malaysia have already signaled support for the case.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s second-largest multi-national bloc, welcomed the suit filed by South Africa against Israel.

It called on the ICJ “to respond expeditiously and take urgent measures to stop this mass genocide being perpetrated by the Israeli defense forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7, killing at least 23,210 Palestinians, and injuring 59,167 others, mostly women and children, according to local health authorities.

Around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine.

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