update deskIsrael at War

Turkey joins South Africa genocide lawsuit at The Hague

Ankara has given unequivocal support to Hamas in its war against Israel.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (left) and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meet in Istanbul, April 20, 2024. Source: Turkish Presidency/X.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (left) and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan meet in Istanbul, April 20, 2024. Source: Turkish Presidency/X.

Ankara, which has outright supported Hamas in the terrorist group’s current war against Israel, has decided to join South Africa’s lawsuit at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan announced the move on Wednesday, saying in televised remarks that “our legal experts have been studying how to participate in the legal case against Israel at the ICJ.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approved the plans, therefore Turkey “will legally support South Africa’s case against Israel at the ICJ, and file our application to the court soon,” Fidan said.

Pretoria in December brought its case accusing Jerusalem of genocide in its war against Hamas in Gaza to The Hague. The ICJ, the main judicial arm of the United Nations, rejected a request in January from South Africa to order Israel to halt the war.

In its provisional ruling, the court insisted that the Jewish state take all necessary means to prevent actions that could lead to genocide, and it dismissed South Africa’s demand that residents of the northern Gaza Strip be allowed to return to the area immediately.

A final decision from the court could take years. January’s ruling is binding according in international law but the court lacks an enforcement mechanism.

Erdoğan has shown extreme hostility to Israel since the Hamas-led massacre of Oct. 7 in which thousands of Israelis and foreign nationals were killed, wounded and kidnapped, with widespread atrocities documented.

Erdoğan in April hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul, a move that was slammed by Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who said that the Turkish president should be “ashamed” of meeting with the terrorist.

The NATO member has also started a trade war with Jerusalem over the ongoing war to defeat Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and other governments.

According to Erdoğan’s office, the president, whose party recently suffered a historic defeat in nationwide local elections, urged Palestinians during the meeting with Haniyeh to unite for victory over the Jewish state. Also discussed were efforts to achieve a ceasefire and increase the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

Hamas still holds 133 hostages in Gaza, with many feared to be dead.

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