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Turkey says will apply to intervene in ICJ genocide case against Israel

People and health workers unearth bodies found at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on April 23, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Turkey has decided to take legal action against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Tuesday Ankara had decided to submit its declaration of official intervention in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the ICJ.

Fidan had already said earlier this month Turkey planned to join the case launched by South Africa against Israel over its war on Gaza, which has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians since October 7, 2023.

“We condemned civilians being killed on October 7,” he told a press conference with his Austrian counterpart. “But Israel systematically killing thousands of innocent Palestinians and rendering a whole residential area uninhabitable is a crime against humanity, attempted genocide, and the manifestation of genocide.”

Turkey's decision follows similar moves in this regard by Egypt, Libya and Colombia.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in a statement on Saturday urged the international community, including Israel’s allies, not to turn a blind eye to the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Once more, he sounded the alarm on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and called for urgent action to put an end to the months-long sufferings, torture, destruction and death.

“The gross human rights violations perpetrated by Israel have scaled to incomprehensible levels of cruelty, hate, and extreme violent oppression,” Ramaphosa said. “The world must do more to end the persecution of Palestinians, including that of many innocent women and children.”

He said the latest worldwide pro-Palestinian student protests had been an encouragement for his nation's continuous anti-Zionist stance.

The South African leader said the UN General Assembly's backing of the Palestinian bid for full membership at the world body despite the US-Israeli opposition had been another push in this direction.

“We are also greatly encouraged by the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly draft resolution that recommends to the Security Council to reconsider favorably the application by the State of Palestine for full membership of the United Nations.”

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