South Africa’s ICJ genocide case ruffles Netanyahu’s feathers
THE HAGUE: (Web Desk) The genocide case filed by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague accusing Israel of violating the 1948 genocide convention, enacted in the wake of the mass murder of Jews in the Holocaust, has ruffled the features of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he has termed the case as “hypocrisy and lies”.
The genocide case has rightly been filed as three months of Israeli bombardment have laid much of the coastal enclave to waste, killing over 23,000 people and driving almost the entire population of 2.3 million Palestinians from their homes. In addition, an Israeli blockade has sharply restricted supplies of food, fuel, and medicine, creating what the United Nations describes as a humanitarian catastrophe.
“Israel has a genocidal intent against the Palestinians in Gaza,” Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate of the High Court of South Africa, informed the international court. “The intent to destroy Gaza has been nurtured at the highest level of state.”
South Africa asked the court for a preliminary order to demand Israel stop fighting now, while the court hears the full merits of the case in the coming months.
The case against Israel has strongly annoyed the Israeli prime minister. Netanyahu stated, “The hypocrisy of South Africa screams to the heavens.” He said, “We are fighting terrorists, we are fighting lies… Today we saw an upside-down world. Israel is accused of genocide while it is fighting against genocide.”
Also, Israel’s foreign ministry accused South Africa of “functioning as the legal arm of the Hamas terrorist organisation” in a case built on “false and baseless claims”.
Since the New Year, Israel has announced a new phase in the war, to begin drawing down forces in the northern half of the Gaza Strip where its offensive began. Even so, fighting has only intensified in southern areas.