‘We are fighting terrorists, and we are fighting lies’: Netanyahu slams South Africa over genocide case at ICJ

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed South Africa over its genocide case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague during its war against Hamas in Gaza on Thursday. “We are fighting terrorists, and we are fighting lies. Today, again, we saw an upside-down world in which the State of Israel is accused of genocide at a time when it is fighting genocide,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

He said that Israel is fighting against “terrorists,” as he referenced Hamas, and added that the group has committed horrific crimes against humanity since the October 7 assault. Netanyahu said, “Israel is fighting against murderous terrorists who committed horrific crimes against humanity: they slaughtered, they raped, they burned, they dismembered, they beheaded–children, women, the elderly, young men and young women.”

“A terrorist organisation carried out the worst crime against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, and now someone comes to defend it in the name of the Holocaust. What brazen gall! The world is upside down,” he added, as he lambasted South Africa over its ICJ case. The Israeli Prime Minister further questioned South Africa of its case when millions of people were being murdered and uprooted from their homes in Syria and Yemen.

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In his statement, according to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, Netanyahu said, “And the IDF, the most moral army in the world, which does everything to avoid harming non-combatants, stands accused – by the representatives of these monsters – of genocide. South Africa’s hypocrisy screams to the high Heavens.” “Where was South Africa when millions of people were being murdered and uprooted from their homes in Syria and Yemen, by whom? By Hamas’s partners. The world is upside down. Where were you?” he questioned.

Netanyahu said that Israel “will continue to fight the terrorists” and also continue to refute the lies. “We know where we are. We will continue to fight the terrorists. We will continue to refute the lies. We will continue to uphold our just right to defend ourselves and to ensure our future – until total victory,” Netanyahu said. Proceedings began on Thursday in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, where Israel is being accused of committing “genocidal” acts during its war against Hamas in Gaza, The Times of Israel reported.

South Africa has lodged an urgent appeal to the ICJ to force Israel to “immediately suspend” its military operations in the Strip. South Africa has based its accusation both on actions taken by Israel throughout the war and controversial comments made by Israeli officials regarding Palestinians in Gaza and how they should be treated. At the ICJ, South Africa’s Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said that Palestinians have suffered at the hands of Israel since 1948. “The violence and the destruction in Palestine did not begin on October 7, they have experienced violence for the last 76 years,” Lamola said, as per The Times of Israel.

“In the Gaza Strip since 2004 Israel exercises control over land crossings, civilian infrastructure. Entry and exit to Gaza is strictly prohibited, with Israel operating the only entry points,” he said. “Gaza is still considered to be under occupation by international law,” he said. He further said: “South Africa unilaterally condemned the targeting of civilians by Hamas and taking of hostages on October 7, 2023. That said, no attack, however serious, can justify breaches to the convention whether as a matter of law or morality.” “Israel has crossed this line, and breached the [genocide] convention,” he said.

“This is why South Africa has filed this case.” The Israel-Hamas war began following the October 7 Hamas terror onslaught in which some 1,200 people in Israel were killed and approximately 240 kidnapped and held hostage in Gaza, mainly civilians. An attorney for South Africa puts forward the accusation that Israel is committing “acts of genocide” during its war against the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip. “South Africa contends that Israel has transgressed Article II of the convention, by actions which show a systematic pattern of conduct from which genocide can be inferred,” said Adila Hassim, as per The Times of Israel.