‘This is Not Genocide’ – Israel Denies South Africa’s Accusations at ICJ

ICJ judges listen to the oral argument of Israel. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israel has rejected as false the accusations of genocide brought by South Africa at the ICJ. A legal think tank, however, said there is ‘overwhelming evidence’ of genocidal intent.

Israel called on the International Criminal Court (ICJ) on Friday to dismiss the case and reject South Africa’s request to impose emergency measures and halt the offensive. 

Tal Becker, the Israeli foreign ministry’s legal adviser, told the court that “The appalling suffering of civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, is first and foremost the result of Hamas’ strategy.”

“If there were acts of genocide, they have been perpetrated against Israel,” Becker said, accusing South Africa of “seeking to undermine Israel’s inherent right to defend itself.”

Israel Faces Justice in The Hague – These are the Possible Scenarios

Israel also argued that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reference to the descendants of Amalek were “misunderstood”. The term, according to the lawyers, has nothing to do with “incitement to genocide against the Palestinian people.”

South African lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi told the court on Thursday that on October 28, Netanyahu used the biblical story to incite Israeli soldiers to crush the population of Gaza, including its women and children.

Ties with Hamas

Israel has also accused South Africa of enjoying “close ties” with Hamas. 

“South Africa has long hosted and celebrated its ties with Hamas figures, including a senior Hamas delegation that incredibly visited the country for ‘solidarity gathering’ just weeks after the massacre,” Becker said.

South Africa rejected “with contempt” Israel’s claims. 

South Africa Argues ‘Genocidal Intent’ by Israel in Gaza

“South Africa’s legal team represents the people of South Africa,” Zane Dangor, director general of South Africa’s Ministry of International Relations, said after the ICJ hearing.

Dangor also denied Israeli claims that South African officials praised Hamas following its October 7 attack, saying, “It is something we reject with contempt.”

‘Israel Failed to Disprove South Africa’s Case’

Speaking with members of the press outside the Court, South African Minister of Justice said that Israel has failed to disprove South African compelling case, Al-Jazeera reported. 

Lamola reportedly added that Israeli officials’ statements cannot be ignored, and that the behavior of Israeli forces on the ground clearly represents an implementation of policy. 

‘Chance for Court to Halt Genocide in Gaza’ – South Africa’s Justice Minister

For its part, the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention, a US-based legal think-tank, has said on X that there is “overwhelming evidence of genocidal rhetoric from senior Israeli officials,  journalists and Israeli military and society”.

During the hearing, Palestinian activists gathered outside the Court asking the ICJ to charge Israel with genocide.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Source link

Latest articles


Related articles