Israel calls SA accusations to ICJ baseless lies, historically hypocritical

In statement released after court adjourns, Foreign Ministry says South Africa acts as judicial arm of Hamas, presents perverted account of October 7 massacre, ignores Hamas use of civilians as human shields and hospitals, schools and more to launch attacks

Ynet, Agencies|
The Foreign Ministry on Thursday said the South African accusations against Israel in its war in Gaza were baseless lies and the most hypocritical in history. In a statement released soon after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hearing was adjourned the ministry said South Africa was being used as a judicial arm of the Hamas terror group and had presented a perverted account of the October 7 massacre while completely ignoring Hamas atrocities and the kidnapping of hostages.
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"South Africa seeks to allow Hamas to repeat its war crimes, its crimes against humanity and its sexual crimes committed on October 7, which leaders of the terror group have said they intend to commit over and over again," the ministry said.
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משפחות החטופים על רקע בית הדין בהאג
משפחות החטופים על רקע בית הדין בהאג
Families of hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza protest outside the ICJ
(Photo: Foreign Ministry)
"The lawyers for the African nation, ignored the fact that Hamas is using civilians in Gaza as human shields and are conducting their fighting from inside hospitals, schools, UN shelters, mosques and churches in order to endanger the lives of Gaza's civilian population," a statement released by the ministry read.
"136 captives are being held by Hamas deprived of access to the Red Cross and to medical attention. Israel would continue to defend its citizens under international law, while differentiating between Hamas terrorists and civilians, and would work to bring about the release of all its captives held hostage by Hamas and to eliminate the racist, antisemitic terror group that calls in its manifest, for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews."
Diaspora Minister Amichai Shikli said the proceedings in the Hague were a new low for the UN institutions which have become a bastion for world antisemitism. "It is doubtful whether the UN still has any moral standing as an organization that was established to promote human rights but appoints the representatives of the Iranian dictatorship to be at the helm of its human rights council," he said.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid also criticized the proceedings in the ICJ. "It is not Israel that is on trial today," Lapid said, "it is the international community. If a country defends itself against a barbaric attack by murderous terrorists, and can then find itself facing charges of genocide in court, then the Genocide convention has become a means to reward terror and advance antisemitism," he said.
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יאיר לפיד בתדרוך לתקשורת הזרה
יאיר לפיד בתדרוך לתקשורת הזרה
Yair Lapid
(Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Earlier the international tribunal heard South African accusations that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza. The South African delegation was the first to present their case to the 17-judge panel aiming for an injunction to be issued by the court to stop Israel's fighting in Gaza.
"The world should be ashamed," South Africa claimed after accusing Israel of purposeful genocide of Palestinians and much more. Among accusations Israel was said to conduct an annihilation of Gaza, targeting population growth there, turning it into the largest concentration camp in the world.
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דרום אפריקה טוענת בפני האג להוצאת צו ביניים נגד ישראל שידרוש להשעות לאלתר את פעולותיה הצבאיות בעזה
דרום אפריקה טוענת בפני האג להוצאת צו ביניים נגד ישראל שידרוש להשעות לאלתר את פעולותיה הצבאיות בעזה
Adila Hassim
(Photo: UN)
Adila Hassim, advocate of South Africa's high court representing South Africa said Israel has deliberately imposed conditions on Gaza that cannot sustain life and are calculated to bring about physical destruction. She said Israel was deliberately starving the Gazan population and preventing medical care from those in need.
"South Africa contends that Israel has transgressed Article Two of the (Genocide) convention, committing acts that fall within the definition of genocide. The actions show a systematic pattern of conduct from which genocide can be inferred," Hassim said.
"Israel has a genocidal intent against the Palestinians in Gaza... that is evident from the way in which this military attack is being conducted," Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate of the High Court of South Africa, said. "It is rooted in the belief that the enemy is not just Hamas, but is embedded in the fabric of Palestinian life in Gaza."
In its claims, South Africa accuses Israel of preventing Gaza's women from safe deliveries of babies, in an effort to reduce the Palestinian population in the Strip. It says children have been made to lose their limbs without anesthetics, be left without parents or family members, or be buried under rubble caused by air raids.
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בית הדין לצדק ב האג הולנד
בית הדין לצדק ב האג הולנד
South Africa's delegation to the ICJ
(Photo: Remko De Wall / EPA)
"The scale of destruction in Gaza, the targeting of family homes and civilians, the war being a war on children, all make clear that genocidal intent is both understood and has been put into practice. The articulated intent is the destruction of Palestinian life," said lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.
The accusers of Israel presented comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Deputy Knesset Speaker Nissim Vaturi who said Gaza should be wiped off the face of the earth. They also referred to comments made by Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu who said one option was to drop a nuclear bomb on Gaza. The intent to destroy the Strip was expressed in the highest levels of government, the South African delegation claimed.
Concluding their presentation, The South African delegation requested the ICJ issue an order for Israel to immediately suspend its military operations in and against Gaza.
Among other claims made to the court was that Gaza had become the largest concentration camp on earth and that Israel was preventing medicines from entering the Strip and reaching those in need.
Families of hostages held captive by Hamas in the Strip, demonstrated outside the court while pro-Palestinian demonstrators were expected to rally in the city while the court was in session.
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אנתוני בלינקן
אנתוני בלינקן
Antony Blinken
(Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/Pool / Reuters)
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken dismissed the case as "meritless" during a visit to Tel Aviv on Tuesday. "It is particularly galling, given that those who are attacking Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, as well as their supporter Iran, continue to call for the annihilation of Israel and the mass murder of Jews," he said.
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