Jurists at the International Court of Justice

Jurists are seated at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on July 23, 2018.

(Photo: Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Rights Campaigners Urge World to Watch Gaza Genocide Trial Live. Here's How You Can

Thursday's proceedings at the ICJ are seen as a "glimmer of hope for international justice."

The eyes of the world should be focused on The Hague come Thursday, say human rights campaigners, as the International Court of Justice takes up South Africa's case charging that the Israeli government has "failed to prevent genocide and is committing genocide in manifest violation of the Genocide Convention" by its actions in the occupied Gaza Strip.

"We encourage Americans and people around the world to listen to the oral arguments in South Africa's case, which if successful, would be an important step in holding the Israeli government to account for the genocide and crimes against humanity they are perpetrating against the Palestinian people," said Ibrahim Hooper, the national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

With the oral arguments scheduled to begin in The Hague at 10:00 am local time (4:00 am ET in the United States), the proceedings can be viewed below (or here) via the official ICJ stream provided by the United Nations:

In a statement on Wednesday, Amnesty International said the public hearing of South Africa's allegations against Israel will bring a "glimmer of hope for international justice," though the rights group has not itself determined whether the nation's actions against the people of Gaza amount to genocide.

Despite not making the determination itself—though other experts and scholars have—Amnesty said that "there are alarming warning signs given the staggering scale of death and destruction with more than 23,000 Palestinians killed in just over three months and a further 10,000 missing under the rubble, presumed dead, as well as an appalling spike in dehumanizing and racist rhetoric against Palestinians by certain Israeli government and military officials. This, coupled with Israel's imposition of an illegal siege in Gaza, which has cut off or severely restricted the civilian population's access to water, food, medical assistance, and fuel, is inflicting unfathomable levels of suffering and puts the survival of those within Gaza at risk."

Read South Africa's 84-page application to the ICJ, which lays out the detailed allegations against Israel, here. It contains recent quotes from high-ranking Israeli officials, including Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

A pair of Israeli parliamentarians doubled down on genocidal rhetoric Wednesday, with Deputy Knesset Speaker Nissim Vaturi saying of Gaza: "It is better to burn down buildings rather than have soldiers harmed. There are no innocents there."

Agnès Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, said even as the case plays out at the ICJ, state actors from around the world—including the United States—still must meet their obligations under the Genocide Convention.

"As the United States continues to use its veto power to block the U.N. Security Council from calling for a cease-fire, war crimes and crimes against humanity are rife, and the risk of genocide is real," said Callamard. "States have a positive obligation to prevent and punish genocide and other atrocity crimes. The ICJ's examination of Israel's conduct is a vital step for the protection of Palestinian lives, to restore trust and credibility in the universal application of international law, and to pave the way for justice and reparation for victims."

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) highlighted in a Wednesday statement that two weeks after the ICJ hearings, the group will be in federal court for its case against U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken "for their failure to prevent—and complicity in—the genocide."

CCR noted that "while previously supporting efforts at the ICJ to prevent genocide in the case of Ukraine v. Russia, the Biden administration has denounced the proceedings in The Hague and is seeking to have the U.S. case dismissed," with Blinken calling South Africa's case against Israel "meritless," despite the mounting evidence.

"Such double standards are unfortunately what we have come to expect from Israel's chief accomplice: Israel could not be committing genocide without the unconditional military and diplomatic support of the U.S. government," the center said. "It is time for the United States to stop its selective support for international law and instead comply with its own obligations to prevent and punish genocide in all cases."

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