South Africa accused Israel on Thursday of carrying out a genocide in Gaza and requested that the U.N.’s top court order an emergency suspension of Israel’s devastating war on the Palestinian enclave.
On the first of two days of hearings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), South Africa said Israel’s war, which has demolished much of the Palestinian enclave, killing more than 23,000 people according to Gaza health authorities, aimed to bring about “the destruction of the population” of Gaza.
“The intent to destroy Gaza has been nurtured at the highest level of state,” Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, advocate of the High Court of South Africa, told the court. He said Israel’s political and military leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were among “the genocidal inciters”.
“That is evident from the way in which this military attack is being conducted,” he said.
Israel rejected the accusations of genocide as false and baseless and said South Africa was speaking on behalf of Hamas – which Pretoria said was untrue.
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