Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vehemently dismissed the genocide charges against Israel, declaring them not only false but outrageous. In response to the International Court of Justice’s ruling, which acknowledged South Africa’s claim against Israel, Netanyahu affirmed Israel’s commitment to self-defense against the genocidal actions of Hamas.
Addressing the accusations, Netanyahu emphasized, “The charge of genocide leveled against Israel is not only false, it’s outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it.” On the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, he reiterated his commitment as the Prime Minister of Israel to the mantra of “Never Again.”
Asserting Israel’s unwavering commitment to international law, Netanyahu stated, “Equally unwavering is our sacred commitment to continue to defend our country and defend our people.” In an English-language video posted online, he clarified that Israel’s conflict is with terrorists and not Palestinian civilians, branding Hamas as a “genocidal” organization.
Despite the ongoing war, Netanyahu pledged to facilitate humanitarian assistance and strive to protect civilians, emphasizing that Hamas employs civilians as human shields. The World Court’s ruling urged Israel to ensure its military avoids actions that could be considered genocide in the Gaza campaign against Hamas.
While the court reserved judgment on the core issue of whether Israel had committed genocide, it ordered Israel to allow urgently-needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. Additionally, Israel was instructed to address and prevent incitement to genocide, citing inflammatory rhetoric from some Israeli leaders.
South Africa had invoked the international convention on preventing genocide, accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel countered, asserting its right to self-defense and highlighting measures taken to protect civilians, including advance warnings and abandoning sorties when civilians are at risk.
The Israeli leaders expressed outrage at the suggestion of genocide, underscoring the historical context of the Jewish people as victims of the crime by Nazis in Europe and finding refuge in Israel. The ongoing conflict has resulted in significant casualties and displacement in Gaza, intensifying the complexities of the situation.