In South Africa’s Footsteps: What Countries Are Taking Israel To Court?

While the world is now waiting for the provisional measures to be announced by the International Court of Justice that, by effect, should result in Israel’s ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from Gaza, South Africa seems to have inspired several countries to step forward.

Last week, countries like Indonesia, Slovenia, Chile, Yemen, Mexico, and Switzerland announced that they’re filing complaints and preparing for legal action against the apartheid state of Israel.

Both Indonesia and Slovenia, who’ve been calling for a ceasefire since October 7, are now supporting South Africa in its case against Israel, acting as advisory opinions.

A separate ICJ hearing is set to take place on February 19th. These ‘advisory opinions’ come after a 2022 UN General Assembly (UNGA) request to issue advisory opinions regarding Israeli violation of the Palestinian people.

Following in the footsteps of the above countries are Mexico and Chile; however, this time, both countries are submitting documents to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which works differently than the ICJ.

According to Reuters, the Mexican Foreign Minister said that the ICC was the right place to hold a certain state accountable for war crimes. The minister’s statement further emphasized the reasons for going directly to the ICC, saying that unlike the ICJ, which Israel isn’t a part of, the ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes committed by any of the fighting sides.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said in a statement that it filed the request “because of a growing concern about the recent escalation in violence, especially against civilians.”

Moreover, in light of the ICJ, Yemen is taking every chance to stress its position against the United States and Israel. The Yemeni Parliament has issued a statement naming the US, the UK, and Israel as the top terrorist states.

This comes as a response to the United States’ designation of the Yemeni group ‘Ansarallah’ or ‘Houthis’ as terrorists.

Finally, Swiss Prosecutors at the World Economic Forum in Davos, whose names remain unknown, have filed criminal complaints against the Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Based on the seriousness of those allegations, lifting the immunity from Herzog is currently a possibility and shall be dealt with under universal jurisdiction.

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