Activists have called upon the Egyptian government to join South Africa in its International Court of Justice (ICJ) case against Israel, accusing it of committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The online petition, supported by local and international activists, NGOs, human rights groups, and political parties, urges Egypt to invoke measures under the UN ‘Genocide Convention’ to secure an immediate ceasefire and halt the Israeli armed assault on Gaza.
The petition also demands that Egypt establish a committee comprising the country’s prosecutor-general, diplomats, journalists, and representatives from civil society and professional syndicates. This committee would be responsible for detailing and documenting the crimes of the Israeli occupation, compiling them into an official memo to be presented before the ICJ.
Given Egypt’s proximity to and historical ties with the Gaza Strip, along with its relations with Israel, Cairo holds an important role in regional affairs. The ICJ is scheduled to convene its first session this week in The Hague, Netherlands, to deliberate on the case.
While some voices, including Egypt’s ex-vice president Mohamed ElBaradei, have criticised Arab states for refraining from joining the ICJ proceedings, scepticism persists about Egypt’s support. Dr. Said Sadek, a prominent Egyptian political sociologist, highlighted the government’s political calculations regarding ties with Israel and the U.S. He pointed out the impact of military aid from the U.S. and the peace treaty with Israel on Egypt’s political decisions.
Despite technically being at peace since the late 1970s, Egypt and Israel share diplomatic, economic, and security ties, with widespread opposition from the Egyptian public. The petition reflects a push for Egypt to play an active role in addressing alleged genocide against Palestinians and ensuring accountability on the international stage.