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Israel Tells World Court That South Africa Case Makes A ‘Mockery of Genocide’

Israel, South Africa
Judges arrive at the International Court of Justice at the start of a hearing where South Africa requests new emergency measures over Israel's attacks on Rafah, as part of an ongoing case South Africa filed at the ICJ in December last year accusing Israel of violating the Genocide Convention during its offensive against Palestinians in Gaza, in The Hague, Netherlands May 17, 2024. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Israel defended the military necessity of the Gaza offensive at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Friday.

South Africa has asked the court to order to halt its military operations in Rafah.

South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Vusimuzi Madonsela, requested the ICJ court to order Israel to “immediately, totally and unconditionally, withdraw the Israeli army from the entirety of the Gaza Strip.”

Irish lawyer Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh said, “this may be the last chance for the court to act.” Ghrálaigh is part of South Africa’s legal team

South Africa has accused Israel of violating the Genocide Convention.

The South African legal team framed the Israeli military operation as part of a genocidal plan aimed at bringing about the destruction of the Palestinian people.

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Israeli Justice Ministry official Gilad Noam said South Africa’s case was “completely divorced from facts and circumstances.”

“(The case) makes a mockery of the heinous charge of genocide,” Noam said.

Pro-Israeli protesters gathered outside the ICJ building. They displayed photographs of hostages taken by the Hamas fighters on Oct. 7 and demanded their release.

The ICJ has rejected Israel’s demands to dismiss the case. It has ordered Tel Aviv to prevent acts of genocide against the Palestinians in previous rulings. However, it has stopped short of ordering it to halt the assault.

Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said that it was joining South Africa’s case. It said that the Israeli military operations “constitute a flagrant violation of international law, humanitarian law, and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 regarding the protection of civilians during wartime.”