‘South Africa is trying to weaponize the term genocide’ Israel’s response to the International Court of Justice

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'South Africa is trying to weaponize the term genocide' Israel's response to the International Court of Justice

Israel has said South Africa has distorted facts at the International Court of Justice.

Israeli lawyer Tal Baker told the International Court of Justice on Friday that South Africa had presented a “very inaccurate explanation” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Earlier on Thursday, South Africa’s lawyer told the International Court of Justice that “Israel’s plan to destroy Gaza came from the highest authorities of the state.”

South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice to decide whether Israels is committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza or not, but Israel has denied the allegations against it, calling them “baseless.”

What happened in court on Friday?
In his opening statement on Friday, Tal Baker told the court that while the plight of civilians was “tragic,” Hamas was “seeking to inflict maximum civilian harm on both Israelis and Palestinians, even though Israels has minimized that damage. He wants to be classified.’

“South Africa has surprisingly and regrettably presented to the court a distorted picture of the facts and an illegal picture of the entire situation, and this case depends on manipulation out of context,” he said. it is based on explanations.’

Baker accused South Africa of trying to weaponize the term genocide against Israels.

“South Africa is trying to thwart Israels fundamental right to self-defense, so the court orders Israel to stop military action against Hamas,” he said.

‘Israel’s plan to destroy Gaza came from senior state officials’
Earlier, on January 11, the International Court of Justice was told that Israels plan to “destroy” Gaza came from the “highest authorities of the state.”

These claims were made by South African lawyers during the hearing at the International Court of Justice on the Palestinian Genocide case against Israel.

South Africa also asked the court to order Israels to stop military operations in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country is acting with “unprecedented morality” in its military campaign inside Gaza, while an Israeli government spokesman compared the South African case to a “blood libel.” What is it.

South African lawyer Tembeka Ngokitobi told the International Court of Justice that Israel’s “genocidal intent” is clear from its “method of military aggression.”

He added that “the intention to destroy Gaza came from the highest level of the state.”

Another lawyer representing South Africa, Adeela Hassim, told the court that “every day the lives, property and honor of the Palestinian people suffer irreparable damage.”

“And nothing but this court’s order can stop all of this.”

Pakistan’s support for South Africa’s request
Pakistan has supported the request made by South Africa and welcomed this initiative.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Baloch said in his weekly briefing that Pakistan fully supports South Africa’s application to the International Court of Justice. According to him, Pakistan also has the same reservations mentioned in the request.

According to the spokesperson, the ongoing attacks and actions against the Palestinians are classified as war crimes. It is a crime against humanity and amounts to genocide.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson has said that Pakistan demands an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and to stop the massacre of the Palestinian people. He has also demanded to guarantee the immediate restoration of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Pakistan demands the establishment of a free and independent state for Palestinians on the pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.

What is genocide and what is the case against Israel?

South Africa has submitted an 84-page legal application to the International Court of Justice, which says Israel’s actions amount to “genocide” because they aim to destroy a significant portion of the Palestinian population in Gaza.

South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians since Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.

It should be remembered that on October 7, 2023, hundreds of Hamas fighters entered southern Israel from Gaza. According to Israeli officials, 1,300 people were killed in the attack, while 240 were taken hostage and returned to Gaza. Since then, as a result of the Israeli response, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 23,000 people have died in Gaza, most of them women and children.

And evidence gathered by South Africa asserts that Israel’s actions and the measures it is not taking “are characterized by genocide because they aim to destroy a part of the Palestinian nation and race.” Is.’

This refers to actions such as Israel’s aerial bombardment, as well as actions it has not carried out, such as protecting civilians from harm.

The case also includes Israeli narratives, including comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which are presented as evidence of “genocidal intent.”

According to the arguments presented in the lawsuit filed by South Africa, the acts of genocide in question included the murder of Palestinians, the infliction of serious physical and psychological harm, and the deliberate creation of conditions aimed at achieving their physical destruction as a group. ‘. The petition also claims that there are public statements by Israeli officials showing intent to destroy.

What is the definition of genocide?
According to the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide means the commission of acts intended to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. These tasks include:

Kill group members.
Causing serious physical or psychological harm to members of the group.
Deliberately subjecting a group to living conditions designed to physically destroy it, in whole or in part.
Implement measures to prevent the birth of children within the group.
Forcibly transferring children from one group to another.
Genocide is one of the most difficult international crimes to prove.

“More important than proving genocide is proving intent to destroy, and that’s what South Africa’s request includes, because it involves Israelis,” says Diyala Shahadia, a former Lebanese lawyer at the International Criminal Court. Public speeches have been documented calling on the authorities to annihilate Gaza and kill Palestinians.’

“According to international convention, genocide does not mean only acts of slaughter, but also persecution and starvation of a group and deprivation of basic services,” she says.

How is Israel responding to accusations of genocide?

Israel has vehemently denied South Africa’s claims. Israeli government spokesman Alon Levy has stated that Israel will defend itself in this matter. He further said that the moral responsibility for the war that Hamas has started lies with him.

So far, the Israeli defense team knows Malcolm Shaw, a British lawyer and academic, who previously served as Israel’s legal advisor and has represented several countries in court cases.

While the Israeli Prime Minister addressed South Africa in his response, he said: “South Africa, we did not commit genocide, but Hamas is doing it.” They should kill us all if they can. On the contrary, the IDF (Israeli army) is acting as ethically as possible.’

The Israeli military says it has taken the following measures to save civilian lives.

Before attacks in any area, leaflets were dropped from the air to the citizens of Palestine.
Civilians were ordered to evacuate the attacked building by telephone.
Some attacks were stopped to save civilian lives.
And the Israeli government has repeatedly expressed its intention to destroy Hamas, not the Palestinian people.

How is Israel responding to accusations of genocide?
How is Israel responding to accusations of genocide?

British Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron told a committee of parliamentarians that he was “concerned” that Israel may have violated international law in Gaza.

But he said of South Africa’s claim: “I don’t think it’s helpful.” “I don’t agree with that, I don’t think it’s right.”

What is the International Court of Justice?

According to the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide means the commission of acts intended to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. These tasks include:

Kill group members.
Causing serious physical or psychological harm to members of the group.
Deliberately subjecting a group to living conditions designed to physically destroy it, in whole or in part.
Implement measures to prevent the birth of children within the group.
Forcibly transferring children from one group to another.
Genocide is one of the most difficult international crimes to prove.

“More important than proving genocide is proving intent to destroy, and that’s what South Africa’s request includes, because it involves Israelis,” says Diyala Shahadia, a former Lebanese lawyer at the International Criminal Court. Public speeches have been documented calling on the authorities to annihilate Gaza and kill Palestinians.’

“According to international convention, genocide does not mean only acts of slaughter, but also persecution and starvation of a group and deprivation of basic services,” she says.

How is Israel responding to accusations of genocide?
Israel has vehemently denied South Africa’s claims. Israeli government spokesman Alon Levy has stated that Israel will defend itself in this matter. He further said that the moral responsibility for the war that Hamas has started lies with him.

So far, the Israeli defense team knows Malcolm Shaw, a British lawyer and academic, who previously served as Israel’s legal advisor and has represented several countries in court cases.

While the Israeli Prime Minister addressed South Africa in his response, he said: “South Africa, we did not commit genocide, but Hamas is doing it.” They should kill us all if they can. On the contrary, the IDF (Israeli army) is acting as ethically as possible.’

The Israeli military says it has taken the following measures to save civilian lives.

Before attacks in any area, leaflets were dropped from the air to the citizens of Palestine.
Civilians were ordered to evacuate the attacked building by telephone.
Some attacks were stopped to save civilian lives.
And the Israeli government has repeatedly expressed its intention to destroy Hamas, not the Palestinian people.

British Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron told a committee of parliamentarians that he was “concerned” that Israel may have violated international law in Gaza.

But he said of South Africa’s claim: “I don’t think it’s helpful.” “I don’t agree with that, I don’t think it’s right.”

What is the International Court of Justice?
The International Court of Justice is the highest court of the United Nations and its mission is to decide disputes between countries. All member states of the United Nations are automatically members of the International Court of Justice.

Any country can bring a case to the International Court of Justice, which is made up of 15 judges elected by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council for nine-year terms.

The Court’s jurisdiction is to consider disputes related to the 1948 Genocide Convention.

After the Nazis killed six million Jews in Europe during World War II between 1939 and 1945, world leaders sought to prevent a repeat of such tragedy by adopting the pact.

Notably, Israel, South Africa, Myanmar, Russia and the United States are among the 153 countries that have ratified it.

Since Israels and South Africa do not currently have a judge on the court, they can appoint a special or temporary judge for the case. Israels chose to appoint Aaron Barak, former chief justice of Israels, and South Africa chose the country’s former deputy chief justice, Dikgong Mosinek.

The International Court of Justice is based in The Hague, Netherlands and was established after World War II. Its purpose is to resolve disputes between states and provide legal advice on legal matters.

Unlike the International Criminal Court (ICC), the ICJ cannot prosecute people for the most serious crimes, such as genocide, but its opinions are important to the United Nations and other international bodies.

Can this court prevent Israel from participating in the Gaza war?

 

South Africa wants the International Court of Justice to order Israel to immediately stop all military operations in and against Gaza. But it is virtually certain that Israel will ignore that order and will not be able to comply with it.

In other words, the parties to the International Court of Justice are legally bound by the court’s decisions, but they cannot be implemented in practice. The United States and South Africa are members of the ICJ.

In 2022, the court ordered Russia to “immediately suspend military operations” in Ukraine, but the order was ignored.

When will the decision come?
The International Court of Justice could soon rule on South Africa’s request to suspend Israles military campaign. To the point that it would save the Palestinians from what could ultimately be called genocide.

But a final decision on whether Israels is committing genocide could take years.

Why did South Africa raise this argument?
South Africa has harshly criticized Israels military action in Gaza. It says that as a signatory to the 1948 UN Genocide Convention, Israel has an obligation to comply with it.

The ruling African National Congress in South Africa also has a long history of solidarity with the Palestinian movement.

South Africa sees parallels in the Palestinian movement with its fight against apartheid. The white minority government in South Africa had a policy of racial segregation and discrimination against the country’s black majority that continued until the first democratic elections in 1994.

South Africa condemned the October 7 attacks and demanded the release of the hostages.

But last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa told South African Jewish leaders that his government “stands with the Palestinian people who have endured more than seven decades of brutal apartheid occupation.”

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