ICJ hearing a ‘pivotal moment in holding the Israeli Government accountable’

Plaid Cymru Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP has today (Thursday 11 January) urged the UK Government to “carefully consider” the “compelling case” by South Africa, which is accusing Israel of genocide at the International Court of Justice.  

Ms Saville Roberts said that the hearing marks a “pivotal moment in holding the Israeli Government accountable”.  

She said that given that 10,000 children have been killed during Israel’s military campaign, the UK Government should follow the same principles as it did during the Myanmar case of genocide against the Rohingyas. The UK’s submission to the ICJ on Myanmar argues there is a lower threshold for determining genocide if the damage has been inflicted on children as opposed to adults.  

She added that “the application of international law must be consistent and without bias”.  

Plaid Cymru have tabled a motion in Westminster welcoming South Africa’s case and urging the UK Government to carefully consider its argument. Ms Saville Roberts urged other parties to sign the motion.  

During today’s session, South African lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi told the ICJ Israel's "genocidal intent" was evident "from the way in which this military attack is being conducted". "The intent to destroy Gaza has been nurtured at the highest level of state," he said.  

Liz Saville Roberts MP said:  

“Today's hearing at the International Court of Justice marks a pivotal moment in holding the Israeli Government accountable for its actions in Gaza. 


“As we approach the 100-day mark since the horrific attacks by Hamas on October 7, this hearing should serve as a wake-up call to those Western governments who have permitted Israel a carte blanche in its military response. South Africa presented a compelling case, asserting that Israel is failing to prevent genocide and violating the genocide convention—a matter that the UK Government must carefully consider. 

“Israeli aggression in Gaza has led to the deaths of over 23,000 civilians, including almost 10,000 children, from a population of just 2.27 million in three short months. As outlined by South Africa's legal team, it is undeniable that Israeli politicians in positions of power have repeatedly used genocidal language, and the widespread use of blanket bombing, along with the disruption of food, water, and medicine supplies to Gaza, leaves no civilian safe. 

“The application of international law must be consistent and without bias. The UK Government submitted a joint intervention in support of the application on genocidal acts in Myanmar, focusing on the disproportionate impact on children. With 10,000 children killed in Gaza, we can in no way justify failing to extend the same humanity towards Palestinian children. 

“Measures to avoid and defuse division should also be stepped up here in the UK as we urgently need to address increased levels of antisemitism and Islamophobia within communities. Bringing about the end to the conflict in Gaza and the safe return of hostages from Israel will play an important part in bringing an end to conflict.

“Plaid Cymru has tabled a motion in Westminster urging the UK Government to heed South Africa's arguments and apply international law consistently to the actions of both Israel and Hamas. We urge other parties to join us by signing the motion.”