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Israel Says South Africa Is Lying Of Accusing It Of Genocide

Israel has said South Africa has not told the truth at the International Court of Justice in its case and has accused Israel of genocide.

Israeli lawyer Tal Becker said, addressing the ICJ, that South Africa had demonstrated “a sweeping counter-factual description” of the Israel-Palestinian dispute.

South Africa says Israel is carrying out genocide against the Palestinians in its war in Gaza.

It is also appealing to the court to order Israel to stop its military activity.

The ICJ is the United Nations’ highest court. All parties of the ICJ, which include Israel and South Africa, are legally bound to follow its rulings, but are not practicable.

Israel presented its justification to the court a day after South Africa delivered its case.

Police created barriers outside the grounds of operation of the ICJ, so that competitor groups may be kept far apart.

On one side, Palestinian flags were waved under a big screen broadcasting a live feed from the courtroom. Banners were unfolded showing pictures of Nelson Mandela, validating parallels drawn by South Africa’s legal team between the condition in Gaza and the ancient racist era in South Africa.

A few hundred meters away, a representative Sabbath table had been laid. Photographs were affixed to the backs of empty chairs. More than 130 Israelis who are still being held captive by Hamas are shown in those photographs, which are blocked as a terrorist group in the US, UK, EU and elsewhere.

South Africa declared that Israel is violating the Genocide Convention of 1948, which both states have signed, and which makes parties responsible to prevent genocide from happening.

Since 7 October, Israel has been going on with war against Hamas, Gaza’s dominant group, when hundreds of Hamas gunmen attacked Israel, killing about 1,300 people and taking some 240 others back to Gaza as captives. Members of the Israeli hostages’ families were also present in the courtroom to hear Israel state its case.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says Israel has killed more than 23,350 people in the war – mostly women and children were included in them.

On Friday, Tal Becker in his opening remarks told the court that while the civilian hardships were “tragic”, Hamas sought “to maximize civilian harm to both Israelis and Palestinians, even as Israel seeks to minimize it”.

He said, South Africa “has regrettably put before the court a profoundly distorted factual and legal picture, [and] the entirety of its case hinges on a deliberately curated, decontextualized and manipulative description of the reality of current hostilities”.

Mr. Becker alleged South Africa of making “an attempt to weaponize the term genocide against Israel”.

He said South Africa was also trying “to thwart Israel’s inherent right to defend itself” so that the court may order Israel to halt its military operation against Hamas.

On Thursday, 17 judges of the court heard advocate of the High Court of South Africa Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, asked how Israel’s “Genocidal intent” was evident “from the way in which [its] military attack is being conducted”.

He said Israel had a plan to “destroy” Gaza, which “has been nurtured at the highest level of state”.

Adila Hassim, representator of South Africa, told the court that “every day there is mounting, irreparable loss of life, property, dignity and humanity for the Palestinian people”.

“Nothing will stop the suffering, except an order from this court.”

South Africa said in its proofs submitted before the hearing, Israel’s actions were “intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group”.

On Friday, the German government issued a statement in which it said, “Expressly rejects the accusation of genocide” against Israel, and that the accusation had “no basis whatsoever”.

“In view of Germany’s history and the crime against humanity of the Shoah [Holocaust], the Federal Government sees itself as particularly committed to the Convention against Genocide… We firmly oppose [its] political instrumentalization.”

Government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit said Germany would express at the main hearing at the ICJ.

A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Mr. Sunak is sure that South Africa’s case was “completely unjustified and wrong.”

“The UK government stands by Israel’s clear right to defend itself within the framework of international law,” he added.

It will only be a point of view what the ICJ will convey on the genocide accusations even though it is being closely observed.

It can take years to declare a final decision, although the court could judge more quickly on South Africa’s appeal for Israel to halt its military campaign.

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