ICYMI: Israel Refutes South Africa's Meritless and Misplaced ICJ Case

Jan 12, 2024

January 12, 2024
Contact: [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Israel’s legal team refuted South Africa’s meritless and misplaced allegations at the International Court of Justice. Israel’s legal representatives highlighted Hamas’s calls for genocide against Jews, said the ICJ does not have jurisdiction to hear the legal complaints, and “underlined in depth the steps Israel has taken to warn civilians to evacuate from Israel Defense Forces operational areas and to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians,” according to The Times of Israel.

For example and contrary to the false allegations put forward by South Africa, Israel is going to great lengths to facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Prior to the October 7th massacre that initiated the conflict, an average of 79 food trucks entered Gaza each day. Last week, an average of 109 food trucks entered Gaza daily. In total, more than 145,000 tons of food carried by more than 8,000 trucks has entered Gaza since the start of the war.


Key Excerpts

  • “If there were acts of genocide, they have been perpetrated against Israel,” [Foreign Ministry legal adviser Tal] Becker insisted in reference to the October 7 atrocities perpetrated by Hamas which sparked the war, and condemning South Africa’s assertion that Israel does not have the right to self-defense against the terror group. “If the claim of the applicant is that Israel must be denied the ability to defend its citizens, the absurd upshot is that under guise of genocide claims this court is trying to stop Israel [from] defending its civilians against an organization which pursues a genocidal agenda against them,” said Becker.
  • He said Israel was committed to complying with the law amid the war, “but it does so in the face of Hamas’s utter contempt for the law,” and argued the “appalling suffering” of civilians, both Israeli and Palestinian, was the result of Hamas strategy of hiding behind innocents.
  • In another critical part of Israel’s defense, Dr. Galit Raguan insisted to the court that Israeli policies of warning Palestinian civilians to evacuate from war zones, as well as providing humanitarian aid, demonstrated that there was not even plausibility to South Africa’s claims of that [sic] Israel is carrying out genocide. She listed Israel’s numerous efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Gazan civilians, including facilitating the entry of new ambulances and hospital incubators into Gaza, the supply of food, water and medicine through the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings, and facilitating the establishment of four field hospitals in southern Gaza as well as two floating hospitals in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Raguan also gave a detailed review of Hamas’s all-encompassing use of civilian infrastructure in Gaza for military purposes, showing pictures of rockets being fired from inside UN schools and next to water desalination plants, rocket launchers hidden inside the premises of a Scouts branch in Gaza and tunnels within hospital complexes, as well as describing the terror group’s use of mosques and UN facilities for its military operations… “In every single hospital the IDF has searched in Gaza it has found evidence of Hamas using it,” said Raguan.
  • Summing up the Israeli defense, Dr. Gilad Noam insisted that the court lacks “prima facie jurisdiction” since South Africa did not follow the correct diplomatic and bureaucratic procedures, a point made earlier by [British jurist Malcolm] Shaw who described South Africa’s behavior in this respect as “disingenuous.”


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