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Israel to Challenge South Africa’s Genocide Claims at International Court of Justice

International Court of Justice, the Hague
International Court of Justice, the Hague. credit: United Nations. CC BY 2.0/flickr

Israel will be presenting its case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against South Africa’s genocide accusations amid the war with Hamas in Gaza.

Israeli spokesman, Eylon Levy, said that “the state of Israel will appear before the International Court of Justice at The Hague to dispel South Africa’s absurd blood libel.”

“We assure South Africa’s leaders, history will judge you, and it will judge you without mercy,” Levy added.

South Africa’s Claims of Israel Genocide

This comes following South Africa’s request at the end of December to declare an urgent order due to Israel’s alleged breaching of its obligations under the 1948 Genocide Convention during its crackdown against Hamas.

The Israeli public broadcaster KAN said the decision was reached after intensive discussions between top Israeli officials and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The country’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, said in a statement: “Israel has signed the convention against genocide for decades, and we will certainly not boycott the proceeding, but stand up and repel the absurd blood plot against us.”

The Haaretz daily newspaper said the Israeli army and the Attorney General’s Office have begun preparing the country’s case for its appearance at the ICJ.

For decades, South Africa has backed the Palestinian cause for statehood in Israeli-occupied territories. The country has drawn parallels between the plight of citizens of the West Bank and Gaza with that of the black majority in South Africa during the apartheid era. Israel strongly rejects that comparison.

The International Court of Justice, also known as the World Court, is the United Nations space for resolving disputes between nations. Israel’s foreign ministry claims the suit was “baseless.”

Posting on social media platform X, Clayson Monyela, a spokesperson for South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said the lawyers representing the country are preparing for the hearing, which is scheduled for two consecutive days later this month beginning on January 11th.


The current conflict in Gaza began after Hamas Islamist militants carried out a cross-border attack which Israel says killed 1,200 people.

Israel responded with a land and air assault which Palestinian health officials say has killed more than 22,000 people. The ministry said that 70 percent of the enclave’s dead are women and people under 18 years old. However, it must be added that the ministry’s casualty figures do not differentiate between soldiers and civilians. Israel denies these figures, saying it has killed 8,000 fighters.

Levy previously put forward a detailed list of measures which Israel’s military has taken to minimize harm to non-fighters. He claimed the moral responsibility for the war lies with Hamas and stated that the terrorist group has been operating from inside and underneath hospitals, schools, mosques, homes, and UN facilities.

He also added, without further explanation, that South Africa was complicit in Hamas’ crimes against Israel and that the organization has always denied using Gaza’s citizens as human shields.

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