UN Says Soldiers Fired on an Aid Convoy in Gaza, South Africa Initiates Legal Action Against Israel

Israeli occupation soldiers fired on Friday an aid convoy today as it returned from northern Gaza along a route designated as safe by the Israeli army, according to Thomas White, the director of the UH agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, in Gaza.

An UN aid convoy in Gaza Strip (Photo: WAFA)

“Our international convoy leader and his team were not injured but one vehicle sustained damage – aid workers should never be a target,” White said in a post on X. Simultaneously, Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, reported an “impossible situation” faced by both the people of Gaza and those attempting to assist them as Israeli attacks claim more civilian lives.

In a social media post on X, Griffiths expressed frustration, disproving misconceptions about the ease of providing aid to Gaza. He outlined 14 obstacles hindering humanitarian relief, including continuous bombardments, attacks on aid convoys, extensive inspections before entry, a lengthy list of rejected items, and the displacement and casualties of aid workers due to the ongoing conflict. Describing the situation as untenable, Griffiths insisted, “The fighting must stop.”

In a significant move, South Africa formally launched Friday legal proceedings today against Israel by submitting an application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in response to the ongoing, relentless Israeli genocide campaign against the Gaza Strip. The application urges the ICJ to indicate provisional measures against Israel for violating its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide concerning Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The ICJ, in a press release, revealed that the application states that “the acts and omissions by Israel are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent … to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group.”

“The conduct of Israel, through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence, in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention,” stated the press release, referencing the application.

South Africa’s application further accuses Israel of “failing to prevent genocide” and “prosecuting the direct and public incitement to genocide.” The African country strongly contended that Israel has been engaging in, continues to engage in, and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

In addition to filing the application, South Africa has requested the ICJ to indicate provisional measures to protect against severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention. The goal is to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention, which prohibits engaging in, preventing, and punishing genocide.

The legal action comes against the backdrop of ongoing Israeli genocide campaign on the Gaza Strip. According to local health authorities, the campaign has resulted in the murder of at least 21,600 Palestinians and the injury of 56,000.  

The full South African application to the ICJ (84 pages, English):