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Liberals divided over South African request for genocide in Gaza

Hatem Moussa Associated Press South Africa considers that the widespread bombing of Gaza by Israel and the siege of the Palestinians living there “is of a genocidal character”.

The Canadian Press in Ottawa

4:20 p.m.

  • Canada

Federal Liberal MPs are divided on what position Canada should take in the face of South Africa's pressure to prosecute Israel for genocide in its Gaza war.

The International Court of Justice will begin hearing South Africa's Application instituting proceedings on Thursday in The Hague. Pretoria says Israel's widespread bombardment of Gaza and siege of Palestinians living there “is genocidal in nature.”

South Africa claims that Israel expressed “the required specific intent […] to destroy the Palestinians in Gaza as part of the broader national, racial and ethnic group of Palestinians.” Pretoria also claims that certain statements by Israeli officials are proof of genocidal intent.

Israel called the allegations “disgusting” and “unfounded.”

The International Court of Justice will hear arguments from South Africa on Thursday and those from Israel on Friday.

The Canadian government has not yet expressed a position on this matter.

But later on Wednesday, the Palestinian ambassador and South Africa's high commissioner in Ottawa will both publicly call on Canada to support the “genocide” argument.

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  • Blinken meets Abbas after urging Israel to spare civilians in Gaza

Liberal MP Salma Zahid agrees with this thesis, saying that Israel is violating international law.

But Liberal MPs Marco Mendicino and Anthony Housefather both say the South African request is “baseless and unacceptable” because Israel is simply trying to prevent Hamas militants from repeating the horrible attack on October 7.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116