Armed Conflict Courts & Litigation Foreign Relations & International Law

ICJ Hears South Africa’s Oral Argument in South Africa v. Israel

Matt Gluck
Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 10:28 AM

The argument follows South Africa’s request for additional provisional measures on May 10. 

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

On May 16, South Africa delivered its oral argument before the International Court of Justice in South Africa v. Israel related to its May 10 request for additional provisional measures toward Israel.

On Dec. 29,  2023, South Africa alleged that Israel had violated the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”) in its operations in Gaza. The Court on Jan. 26 indicated several provisional measures toward Israel. South Africa on Feb. 12 requested additional provisional measures, which the Court declined to impose. But the Court on March 28 granted South Africa’s March 6 request for more provisional measures in light of “exceptionally grave recent developments.” 

South Africa on May 10 requested the indication of further provisional measures and changes to existing measures—over which the Court heard argument from South Africa on May 16. South Africa requests measures instructing Israel to: “‘immediately withdraw and cease its military offensive in the Rafah Governorate’”; “‘take all effective measures to ensure and facilitate the unimpeded access to Gaza of United Nations and other officials engaged in the provision of humanitarian aid and assistance to the population of Gaza’”; allow journalists and officials gathering evidence to effectively preserve and retain evidence; and submit a report to the Court within one week of an order from the Court on what Israel has done to effectuate these provisional measures and previously indicated provisional measures. The Court heard Israel’s argument related to South Africa’s May 10 request the next day.

Read South Africa’s argument here or below. 

Matt Gluck is a research fellow at Lawfare. He holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College.

Subscribe to Lawfare