Israel says South Africa ‘genocide’ case at World Court ‘completely divorced’ from facts

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun11,2024
Key Points
  • South Africa has urged the ICJ to order a stop to the Israeli assault on Rafah.
  • Israel has insisted that the ground assault on Rafah was a “critical” part of the army’s mission to destroy Hamas.
  • In past rulings, the court has ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians.
Israel defended the military necessity of its Gaza offensive on Friday after South Africa asked judges to order it to halt operations in Rafah and completely withdraw from the Palestinian territory.

Israeli Justice Ministry official Gilad Noam called Africa’s case, which accuses Israel of violating the Genocide Convention, “completely divorced from facts and circumstances”.

“(The case) makes a mockery of the heinous charge of genocide,” Noam said. He called it “an obscene exploitation of the most sacred convention,” referring to the international treaty banning genocide.

The convention requires all countries to act to prevent genocide, and the ICJ, also known as the World Court, which disputes between states, has concluded that this gives South Africa a right to make the case.

In past rulings, the court has rejected Israel’s demands to dismiss the case and ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians, while stopping short of ordering it to halt the assault.
Ahead of Israel’s presentation, several dozen pro-Israeli protesters gathered outside, displaying photographs of hostages taken by Hamas on 7 October and demanding their release.

The South African legal team, which set out its case for fresh emergency measures the previous day, framed the Israeli military operation as part of a genocidal plan aimed at bringing about the destruction of the Palestinian people.

South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Vusimuzi Madonsela, requested the court to order Israel to “immediately, totally and unconditionally, withdraw the Israeli army from the entirety of the Gaza Strip”.
Israel’s Noam said that Israel’s military operations were not aimed at civilians but at Hamas using Rafah as a stronghold, who have tunnel systems that could be used to smuggle hostages and militants out of Gaza.

Examples of alleged violations by Israel raised by South Africa were “not evidence a policy of illegal behaviour, let alone a policy of genocide”, he said.

Ordering Israel to withdraw its troops would sentence the remaining hostages in Gaza to death, Noam said.
Gaza is in a deep humanitarian crisis, with the United Nations recently saying Palestinians there face catastrophic levels of hunger.
The crisis was sparked by Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which came after a 7 October attack on southern Israel where gunmen led by Hamas — Gaza’s militant rulers — killed around 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages, according to the Israeli government.
More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the occupied Palestinian territory’s health ministry.
This week’s World Court hearings focus only on issuing emergency measures and it will likely take years before the court can rule on the underlying genocide charge.

A decision on the request for emergency measures is expected next week.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Israel says South Africa ‘genocide’ case at World Court ‘completely divorced’ from facts”
  1. It seems like there is a lot of misinformation being spread by both sides in this case. We should focus on finding peaceful solutions rather than escalating tensions further.

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