News Release

South Africa Emergency Hearing to Charge Israel with “Extermination Zones”


The International Court of Justice has scheduled a hearing for Thursday regarding South Africa’s request for additional emergency measures in its Genocide Convention case against Israel. South Africa’s arguments will be livestreamed here at 3 p.m. local time, 9 a.m. U.S. ET.

The South African application states: “The situation brought about by the Israeli assault on Rafah, and the extreme risk it poses to humanitarian supplies and basic services into Gaza, to the survival of the Palestinian medical system, and to the very survival of Palestinians in Gaza as a group, is not only an escalation of the prevailing situation, but gives rise to new facts that are causing irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people in Gaza. This amounts to a change in the situation in Gaza since the Court’s Order of 28 March 2024, within the meaning of Articles 75(3) and 76(2) of the Rules of the Court.

“The changed circumstances in Gaza are manifest in at least three key respects overall. First, Rafah is now effectively the last refuge in Gaza for 1.5 million Palestinians from Rafah and those displaced by Israeli action, and the last viable centre in Gaza for habitation, public administration, and the provision of basic public services, including medical care. Second, in seizing control of the Rafah and Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) crossings, Israel is now in direct, total control of all entry and exit to Gaza, has cut it off from all humanitarian and medical supplies, goods and fuel on which the survival of the population of Gaza depends, and is preventing medical evacuations. Third, the remaining population and medical facilities are at extreme risk, given the recent evidence of evacuation zones being treated as extermination zones, the mass destruction and mass graves at Gaza’s other hospitals, and the use by Israel of Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) to identify ‘kill lists.’ All three present the gravest and most urgent risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights in issue in the case, and require urgent intervention and investigation.”

Available for interviews:

Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. He represented Bosnia at the International Court of Justice in its Genocide Convention case against Yugoslavia. He has been interviewed by MSNBC, CBS News and other outlets on the South Africa case. See prior IPA news news releases.

Professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University, Quigley’s books include The Statehood of Palestine: International Law in the Middle East Conflict (Cambridge University Press). He recently wrote the piece “Forget the Security Council: The General Assembly Can Admit Palestine” for Opinio Juris.

DANIEL KOVALIK,, @danielmkovalik
Kovalik is author of the just-published book The Case for Palestine: Why It Matters and Why You Should Care.

See from Sam Husseini: “Creation of ‘Kill Zones’ and What ‘Occupied Territory’ Means” about the State Department’s refusal when repeatedly questioned to say that the Geneva Conventions apply to Gaza.