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Israeli President Herzog decries the 'genocide' case against Israel as a 'blood libel'

The typically calm president expressed his disgust with ICJ judges for misrepresenting his statements in order to manipulate the court

Israeli President Isaac Herzog speaks at an event at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, January 28, 2024. (Photo: Screenshot)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog publicly denounced South Africa's “genocide” case against the Jewish state at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as a modern “blood libel.”

“There is something shocking about seeing how the ‘post-truth’ phenomenon permeates even the most important institutions,” Herzog said, referring to the World Court in The Hague.

The typically calm president expressed his disgust with the ICJ judges for misrepresenting statements he had made in order to manipulate the court.

“Even on a personal level, I was disgusted by the way they twisted my words, using very, very partial and fragmented quotes, with the intention of supporting an unfounded legal contention,” Herzog argued. Intent is considered a key component regarding charges of genocide, which explains why the South African legal delegation has attempted to portray Israel's statements and actions in Gaza as genocidal in nature.

The Israeli president noted that the massacres of Oct. 7 were perpetrated by civilian accomplices, in addition to Hamas terror operatives, saying: “[Gazans are] an entire nation out there that is responsible… This rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved [in the October 7 onslaught] — it’s absolutely not true.”

“I was here, in this very hall, a few days after the terrible massacre, when I was asked by the world’s media about the situation in Gaza. I replied that the widespread civilian support in Gaza for the crimes and atrocities of October 7 could not be ignored, and that Hamas operates from the heart of the civilian population everywhere, from children’s bedrooms in homes, from schools, from mosques, and hospitals,” Herzog stated.

However, the Israeli president emphasized that widespread complicity does not imply that all Gazan civilians are legitimate military targets.

“Israel abides by international law, operates by international law. Every operation is secured and covered and reviewed legally,” he stated.

“There is no excuse for murdering innocent civilians in any way in any context. And believe me, Israel will operate and always operate according to the international rules. And we do the same in this battle, too,” Herzog asserted.

In its preliminary legal statement last Friday, the highly-politicized World Court strongly rebuked Israel's conduct in the war against Hamas terror organization in Gaza. While the ICJ did not entirely embrace the inaccurate charges of “genocide” leveled against Israel, it nevertheless called on the Jewish state to do everything possible to prevent civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip.

Some believe the judges did not take into account Israel's considerable efforts to minimize civilian casualties in Gaza, including creating safe passages for civilians to escape zones where Israel is operating to eliminate Hamas terrorists and infrastructure.

The international court also failed to condemn Hamas for deliberately using Gazan civilians as human shields, as well as targeting Israeli civilians, which is considered a double war crime under international law.

Meanwhile in a dramatic development, Uganda denounced its own judge, Julia Sebutinde, who opposed all six interim injunctions presented against Israel.

"The stance taken by Judge Sebutinde is her personal and independent stance and does not in any way reflect the positions of the Republic of Uganda," read the official statement from the Ugandan government.

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

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