Israel To Send Holocaust Survivor, Former Supreme Court Judge To ICJ—-Israel is sending a former judge of the country’s Supreme Court, Aharon Barak, to the hearing before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Gaza war.
A spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed media reports on Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to the appointment of the 87-year-old Holocaust survivor.
Israeli media reported widely that Barak is to become part of the panel of judges for Israel.
This is a special feature of the International Court of Justice in The Hague – plaintiff and defendant states can each send an additional judge.
The news came as a surprise because Barak has been an outspoken critic of the judicial reform that Netanyahu’s right-wing religious government wanted to push through last year amid fierce protests.
Barak had compared the planned reorganisation of the judiciary to a “coup with tanks” that would turn Israel into a “hollowed-out democracy.”
The Times of Israel newspaper wrote that Barak was highly respected internationally and that Netanyahu had followed the recommendation of Israeli Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara with his appointment.
Just over three months after the start of the war against the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Israel must answer to an international court for the first time for its ongoing military operation.
South Africa brought the case against Israel before the highest UN court and accused it of genocide.
The court has scheduled the hearings for January 11 and 12.
The judgements of the UN court are generally binding.
However, the judges do not have the power to force a state to implement them.
South Africa is invoking the Genocide Convention in its lawsuit.
Both states are signatories to the convention.
In South Africa’s view, the UN judges should first order an end to the violence against Palestinians in summary proceedings in order to protect their rights.
Israel firmly rejected South Africa’s accusations claiming that Hamas is solely responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.
Israel argued that it was doing everything in the war to minimise the damage to the civilian population.