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Updated January 12th, 2024 at 13:47 IST

'Brazen Gall': Netanyahu Slams South Africa for Accusing Israel of Committing 'Genocide'

Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu slammed South Africa for accusing Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa | Image:AP
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Tel Aviv - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed South Africa for accusing Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The Israeli premier lambasted the authorities of the African nation for moving court and called the allegations “nothing more than hypocrisy”, The New York Post reported. The proclamation from the Israeli premier came after South Africa accused Israel of showing “chilling” and “incontrovertible” intent to commit Genocide in Gaza. 

“A terrorist organization 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,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Thursday. The Israeli premier accused South Africa of having a “brazen gall” for representing the “monsters” of Hamas and bringing brazen allegations on the global stage.  “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,” Netanyahu averred. “What brazen gall. The world is upside down," he exclaimed. 

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Netanyahu's opposition supports the criticism 

In his address, the Israeli premier said that the Jewish nation will continue to take down the lies and insisted that Tel Aviv has the right to defend itself. “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 concluded. Similar sentiments were echoed by Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid. The Israeli opposition leader insisted that the trial puts the integrity of the international community at stake. “If a country that protects itself from a brutal murderous terrorist attack can find itself in court for genocide, then the genocide convention has become a reward for terrorism and antisemitism,” Lapid said. “Instead of the murderers being put on trial, the world is judging the murdered," he added. 

What did South Africa say on the first day of the hearing?

On the first day of the hearing on the case, The South African side went on to urge the international court to order an immediate ceasefire calling the ongoing conflict “devastating”. During the hearing, South Africa put forward the case by showcasing photos of Palestinian mass graves, Israeli flags adorning wreckage in Gaza and what it claimed were videos of Netanyahu expressing support for genocide, The Guardian reported. “Genocides are never declared in advance but this court has the benefit of the past 13 weeks of evidence that shows incontrovertibly, a pattern of conduct and related intention that justifies the plausible claim of Genocide acts,” the South African Lawyer Adila Hassim told the court. 

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“There had been reiteration and repetition of genocidal speech throughout every sphere of state in Israel such that the evidence of genocidal intent is not only chilling, it is also overwhelming and incontrovertible,” Hassim's colleague Tembeka Ngcukaitobi averred. On the first day, Hassim said Israel had dropped 6,000 bombs a week in the first three weeks after 7 October and had used 900kg of bombs in the war. “Israel has killed an unparalleled and unprecedented number of civilians,” she said. “With the full knowledge of how many civilian lives each bomb will take. More than 1,800 Palestinian families in Gaza have lost multiple family members and hundreds of multi-generational families have been wiped out with no remaining survivors…This killing is nothing short of destruction of Palestinian life," she added. 

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Published January 12th, 2024 at 13:47 IST

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