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Israel blasts South Africa for launching case at top UN court over accusation of genocide in Gaza

December 29, 2023 at 8:36 pm

An inside view of International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands [Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Israel on Friday strongly condemned South Africa for initiating legal action at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to investigate its attacks against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip with a suspicion of committing the crime of genocide in Gaza, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry described the South African move as a “blood libel” against Israel in its applications to the ICJ.

“South Africa’s claim lacks both a factual and a legal basis, and constitutes a despicable and contemptuous exploitation of the Court,” the statement said.

It accused Pretoria of cooperating with “a terrorist organisation” in reference to the Palestinian Hamas group, which also accused it of “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry claimed that its army “is committed to international law and acts in accordance with it, and directs its military efforts solely” against Hamas and military sites.

Israeli attacks have left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed, and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicines.

South Africa on Friday filed an application instituting proceedings against Israel before the ICJ, requesting the court to indicate provisional measures.

The application was filed “concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” the ICJ said in a press release.

“Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” the African country said.

READ: South Africa initiates legal action against Israel at International Court of Justice