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Egypt, Turkey join South Africa’s lawsuit against Israel

Turkey and Egypt have joined South Africa’s lawsuit that the two have filed with the International Court of Justice (ICJ), demanding additional emergency measures against Israel.

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said that Turkey has decided to file an application for formal intervention in the South African genocide case against Israel at the ICJ.

Earlier this month Fidan announced the decision to join the case launched by South Africa as Ankara stepped up measures against Israel over its assault on Gaza, which has killed more than 35,000 people. He told a press conference with his Austrian counterpart:

“We condemned civilians being killed on October 7. 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.”

Egypt said it will formally join a lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice, which accuses Israel of violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention in the Gaza Strip. South Africa brought a genocide case against Israel before the International Court of Justice in January.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the move was due to the escalation of Israeli aggression against Palestinian civilians. The statement read:

“This comes in light of the worsening severity and scale of Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, as well as the ongoing systematic actions against the Palestinian people, including direct attacks on civilians and the destruction of infrastructure in the Strip, forcing Palestinians to flee.”

Meanwhile, Cairo, which has been making loud statements since the first day of the war about cancelling the peace agreement with Israel, finally announced that it was “considering downgrading diplomatic relations with Israel because of its Rafah operation,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

The conflict between the countries escalated when Israel gave Egypt just hours’ notice to launch a military operation in Rafah, in which the Israeli army seized a Gaza-side crossing on the border with Egypt.

According to Egyptian officials, Jerusalem assured Cairo that the crossing, which is a key entry point for humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave, would not be affected and Palestinians there would be given the necessary time to safely evacuate the area. According to an Egyptian official, “none of these assurances have come true.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that taking control of the Rafah crossing was necessary to curb smuggling by Hamas.

In addition, Egypt has refused to open the border with the Gaza Strip from its side as long as the Israeli army controls the Rafah crossing. An Egyptian official said that as long as Israeli forces remain at the crossing, Egypt will not send a single truck to Rafah.

Israeli offensive on Rafah

Fighting has intensified in the Gaza Strip in recent days, with the town of Rafah under heavy fire. Israel Defence Forces (IDF) tanks are advancing on the east of the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.

Rafah is the last major population centre in the Gaza Strip where Israel has yet to conduct major operations against Palestinian paramilitary groups.

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