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Letter Template to File a Declaration of Intervention in support of South Africa’s (ICJ) case

Apply all forms of Pressure on government officials to immediately file a Declaration of Intervention in support of South Africa’s (ICJ) case against Israel to stop the genocide in Gaza

All States Parties of the Genocide Convention must support the action initiated by South Africa against “Israel” and provide urgent and full support for these measures before the first hearings on the case are held on January 11 and 12 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

How you can help?

  • Write to your national government officials, the presidential authorities, foreign ministries, politicians, diplomats, and to League of Arab States and similar organisations worldwide,, and ask them to declare support for South Africa’s ICJ case.
  • Share the call and the letter with supportive organizations, movements, unions and other groups.
  • Share widely on social media (FacebookInstagramTwitter) and tag the relevant officials, authorities and institutions.


A formal letter template you can use:

Dear madam/sir,

I am writing to you on behalf of {…….} to urge the government to support South Africa’s application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to protect Palestinians from genocidal actions by Israel.[1] This should include supporting South Africa’s request for urgent provisional measures from the ICJ to end Israel’s military operations in and against Gaza, and bringing an end to the bloodshed and devastation.

As of writing, about 4% of the total population of the Gaza Strip – more than 90,000 people – are dead, missing or wounded, including those with long-term disabilities, as the genocidal war waged by Israel against them enters its fourth consecutive month. Israel’s withholding of water, food, fuel, and electricity has put the entire population at serious risk of mass deaths from famine, dehydration, and disease. Israel’s continuous attacks by air, land and sea have destroyed about 70% of the civilian facilities and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip since October 7, with an approach of implementing collective punishment against the population and making the Strip, which has been under siege for more than 17 years, an unfit place for life, pushing hundreds of thousands of civilians towards mass forced displacement.

This is a situation that is getting worse every hour, and requires concrete action from the international community to prevent further mass atrocities. We therefore welcome South Africa’s intervention at the ICJ, which we believe deserves full support.

As a State party to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (‘Genocide Convention’), South Africa has invoked the convention to initiate proceedings against Israel, another State party, based on its obligations to prevent and punish genocide. Initial public hearings have been scheduled for January 11 and 12, 2024, and Israel has announced that it will participate.

South Africa’s 84-page application to the ICJ substantiates two grave allegations: first, that Israel has “failed to prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide”; and second, that “Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza.” These acts include killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction. Such acts are alleged to be “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group, that being the part of the Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip.”

While a final judgement on the merits of the charge of genocide will be years away, South Africa is requesting as a “matter of extreme urgency” a series of provisional measures that would apply immediately and extend for the duration of the trial. These measures include the immediate suspension of Israel’s military operations against Gaza, an end to Israel’s mass displacement of the population of Gaza, and an end to Israel’s deprivation of food, water, and other essential supplies to that population.

I also note that the provisional measures requested by South Africa appear to align with principles already expressed by the government itself in respect of the situation in Gaza, including an end to the killing of civilians and unrestricted humanitarian access. Unfortunately, these statements have done nothing to modify Israel’s behaviour, which has only become more belligerent. If {country name} is serious about bringing a sustainable end to the violence, and if it is to remain consistent with its own moral and legal position, it should put its full weight behind South Africa’s application to the ICJ.

As a signatory to the Genocide Convention, {country name} has an obligation and a duty to prevent and punish the crime of genocide wherever it occurs. South Africa’s application to the ICJ has brought forward an urgent and compelling case demonstrating that Israel is committing acts of genocide right now against Palestinians in Gaza. {country name} can intervene in the proceedings as a State party in support of South Africa, either now or during potential proceedings on the merits.

Therefore, I strongly urge {country name} to make a brief formal submission to the ICJ indicating its support for the South African application against Israel. {country name}’s submission should emphasize its respect for the Court, and demonstrate that it is aware of its responsibilities under the Genocide Convention to take all reasonable steps to prevent genocide.

If a brief formal submission by {country name} at this stage of the proceedings is not possible, I would urge {country name} to issue a public statement in support of the South African application against Israel, as has already been done by Malaysia, Turkey and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.


Finally, if for some reason {country name} chooses not to support South Africa’s application, I urge you to ‘do no harm’ to the effort to hold Israel accountable, and at the very least refrain from taking any action to oppose or undermine South Africa’s efforts to seek redress for the genocide unfolding in Gaza.

I look forward to seeing your action.





  • ICJ, “Application instituting proceedings and request for the indication of provisional measures,” Proceedings instituted by South Africa against the State of Israel on 29 December 2023,


  • URGENT Call from Palestine to States Parties of the Genocide Convention: Support South Africa’s ICJ Suit Against Israel over its Gaza Genocide


  • Letter Calling on States to Support South Africa’s Genocide Convention Case Against Israel at the ICJ


  • An example of a Declaration of Intervention by the Maldives in the Myanmar case and many other examples.



  1. Jordan announced it’s supports to the lawsuit filed by South Africa against Israel in the ICJ on charges of genocide and breach of the 1948 Genocide Convention.


  1. Law for Palestine Releases Database with 500+ Instances of Israeli Incitement to Genocide – Continuously Updated 




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