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Israel rejects 'with disgust' South African ‘genocide’ charge brought to World Court

Israel will appear be the court even though it tends to ignore politically-motivated lawsuits

International Court of Justice's Palace of Peace in The Hague (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Israel will appear before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, also known as the World Court, to defend itself against the charge that Israel is committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The accusation was brought forward by South Africa on Friday,

Israel's appearance in the World Court is viewed as unusual, as it tends to disregard and ignore politically motivated lawsuits targeting its conduct. However, the decision was made after long and intensive discussions between representatives of Israel Defense Forces officials and the Defense and Justice Ministries on Monday, Ynet news media reported.

“The State of Israel has signed the convention against genocide for decades, and we certainly do not boycott the discussion. We will stand by it and repel the absurd lawsuit that is a blood libel,” explained Tzachi Hanegbi, the National Security Advisor.

South Africa’s charge could lead to the censure of Israel and an interim order by the court to immediately halt Israel's military operation to eliminate the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip, which came in response to the horrific massacre by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.

“Acts and omissions by Israel... are genocidal in character,” the lawsuits claimed, adding that their intent was “to destroy Palestinians in Gaza.”

A court hearing is likely to take place within days to weeks, while the case itself would likely take years.

“The Jewish people have experienced more than any other nation what extermination is,” said Hanegbi, “six million of our people were slaughtered with endless cruelty.”

“Similar cruelty was used against the citizens of Israel in the Oct. 7 massacre, except that this time we have the ability to defend ourselves against those who rise to destroy us. The unfounded claim against the victim’s right to defend himself is a disgrace, and we expect all civilized countries to sympathize with our determination,” Hanegbi added.

In its first statement after the lawsuit was filed by South Africa, the Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected the accusations “with disgust” and argued that the claim was a “despicable and contemptuous exploitation” of the court.

Israel operates according to international law and focuses its military actions solely against Hamas, adding: “The people of Gaza are not an enemy of Israel, who is making efforts to limit harm to non-combatants.”

South Africa has been a fierce critic of Israeli actions since Oct. 7 and convened a virtual summit of the BRICS group of nations in November to discuss the Israel-Hamas war.

The African nation has voiced its ongoing support for the Palestinian cause and designated Israel as an apartheid state, comparing the current situation between Israel and the Hamas terror organization to its own history of struggle with apartheid.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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