South Africa's sase against Israel at ICJ marks the first time Israel is formally facing genocide charges. Photo: AA

After South Africa filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for genocide in Gaza, nearly 50 lawyers from the country are preparing a separate lawsuit against the US and UK governments on the grounds that they are complicit in Israeli forces' war crimes in Palestine.

The initiative, led by lawyer Wikus Van Rensburg, aims to prosecute those who are complicit in the crime in civilian courts in collaboration with lawyers from the US and UK, with whom he is already in contact.

Rensburg, who has been writing letters to various countries and the ICJ for the last few weeks demanding that Israel and its supporters be prosecuted, has begun preparations to file a lawsuit against the two Western countries, with the support of his colleagues.

"The United States must now be held accountable for the crimes it committed," Rensburg told Anadolu news agency in an interview, detailing the process by which Washington and London will be tried as complicit in Tel Aviv's war crimes against the people of Gaza.

Rensburg said he has been receiving a lot of support. "Many lawyers decided to join us in the lawsuit. Many of those who have joined are Muslims, but I am not. They feel obligated to assist this cause, but I believe that what is happening is incorrect."

'Enough is enough'

What happened in Iraq is an example of this, he said, noting that no one held the US accountable for the crimes it committed in the Middle Eastern country as the issue was not given the necessary importance.

But now people believe what is happening in Palestine is an ideal scenario for the legal process to be carried out, the South African lawyer said.

"The US is busy spending more money and more resources to (allow Israel) commit the crime,” he added.

“No one says stop, enough is enough," he observed. Israel's brutal war on Gaza - now in its 101st day - has so far killed at least 23,968 Palestinians and wounded 60,582 others, health officials say, as Tel Aviv insists on continuing its aggression in the tiny coastal enclave.

Possible sanctions

Rensburg said the genocide case filed by South Africa against Israel at the ICJ will serve as a guide for their case against the US and UK.

If the ICJ trial against Israel is concluded in favour of South Africa, Rensburg believed that the US may face sanctions even if it does not accept the verdict.

The ICJ ruling will also strengthen a case against the Joe Biden administration, he added.

Rensburg said he and his colleagues in South Africa are making preparations by contacting law firms in the US and UK.

Strong arguments

Reminding that Berlin is still paying compensation for the crime of genocide committed by Germany, Rensburg said “The US must now be held responsible for the crimes it has committed. It must accept its responsibilities."

Pointing out that similar cases were filed against former US President George Bush in the 2000s, the South African lawyer said they believed that they could successfully carry out the legal process abroad by working as a team.

He said South Africa made stronger arguments in the case in The Hague, and that he is intimidated by the argument that an attack against Israel could happen again if the court ruled in favour of South Africa.

Last week, the group of lawyers, which has now grown to 47, wrote an open letter to the leaders of the US and UK governments, stating that they could not avoid responsibility.

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