The Zionist response to the South Africa accusation of genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza in the ICJ

Yossi Schwartz ISL (The RCIT section in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 13.01.2024

On Thursday January 11 the legal team of South Africa presented the legal argument against the genocide of Israel in the International Court of Justice based on the 1948 Genocide convention. Israel is a signatory of this convention and so is South Africa. Only states are sides to the convention which means that Hamas cannot sue Israel in this court as it is not a state but occupied territory even though Israel claims it is a state.

The procedural process is in two stages. The first one is the demand for an injunction that will order Israel to stop the killing. Arguments are by SA followed by Israel and the decision will be announced within a few weeks. The second will be on the merit of the accusation that may take a long time.

The South Africa team brilliantly presented the case against Israel. Adila Hassim, told the ICJ that Israel had breached Article II of the Genocide Convention, which included the “mass killing” of Palestinians in Gaza “Israel deployed 6,000 bombs per week … No one is spared. Not even newborns. UN chiefs have described it as a graveyard for children. Nothing will stop the suffering, except an order from this court,” she added. South Africa has demanded that the ICJ order Israel to suspend its military campaign. [1]

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, another lawyer for South Africa, dealt with the Israel’s “genocidal intent” against the Palestinians in Gaza, usually the most difficult thing to prove in a case of this kind “Israel’s political leaders, military commanders and persons holding official positions have systematically and in explicit terms declared their genocidal intentץ These statements are then repeated by soldiers on the ground in Gaza as they engage in the destruction of Palestinians and the physical infrastructure of Gaza. Ngcukaitobi brought to the court’s attention Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments on October 28, 2023, urging ground troops preparing to enter Gaza to “remember what Amalek has done to you. “This refers to the Biblical command by God to Saul for the retaliatory destruction of an entire group of people,” the lawyer said” [2]

This refers to the Biblical command by God to Saul for the retaliatory destruction of an entire group of people,” the lawyer said.“The evidence of genocidal intent is not only chilling, it is also overwhelming and incontrovertible,” he added” [3]

The Israeli legal team as could be expected argued that Israel acted in self-defense and it was its duty to defend the citizens of Israel and therefore it did not act in violation of the convention. It also attacked the South African team for not dealing with the alleged atrocities of Hamas.

The third point of the Pro Israel team was the Zionist government policy, was to spare the lives of the Gazan civilians not to kill them and that many of the civilians were killed by misfired by Hamas who used the civilians as a shield. That South Africa team quotes of Netanyahu and other ministers were taken out of context and did not suit the actual policy of the government.

The fourth point is that the court lacks jurisdiction because for a dispute to come before the ICJ, there is a requirement for the state that takes a case to the ICJ to try and solve the problem first; which was not done. This is one of the lies presented to the court. Another one was that Hamas is responsible for the bombing of Al-Ahli hospital, or that it raped Israeli women.

Israel also pointed out that it is a rules-based country with a legal system, so everything, if crimes are committed, will be dealt with in the national courts. Another lie was that the resistance is responsible for the bombing of the hospital.

While the Zionist lawyer Gilad Noam claims that the standards needed to apply provisional measures – “irreparable harm and urgency” – are not met because Israel has taken steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza nine Palestinians have been killed and 13 wounded in an Israeli air strike in the al-Masha’la area of Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

It is hard to know how the court will act or whether it will provide an injunction to stop the war. The Israeli team argued that such an order cannot be addressed only to Israel. However, the Israeli team was not very convincing. The right of self defense is in a clash between states while Gaza is occupied by Israel that has put a siege on it for 16 years. Thus, the principle of self defense is not valid. The case was not against Israel and Hamas but only again Israel as Hamas rule is not a state. The intention of Israel was not only a genocide but ethnic cleansing. By Netanyahu saying remember what the Amalek it was a call to kill all the people of Gaza. By Galant saying they are human animals that should not have food or water it was a call for genocide. The Israeli soldiers understood that they should kill every Palestinian as we saw them dancing and shouting there is no innocent in Gaza. As we saw Israeli young children singing a song of death to the Palestinians.

In a few days the court will issue its decision, however if the court will reject the request of South Africa to issue an injunction to end the war it will give Israel the green light to continue with the genocide.

End the Genocide now!

For a red free Palestine from the river to the sea!


[1] er-gaza-war

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

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