Israel says South Africa exploiting World Court on behalf of Hamas

International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands, January 26, 2024. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo
Spread the love

JERUSALEM,- Israel accused South Africa on Thursday of acting “as the legal arm of Hamas” after Pretoria again petitioned the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to take measures against Israel.

A South African government spokesperson dismissed the accusation.

“South Africa continues to act as the legal arm of Hamas in an attempt to undermine Israel’s inherent right to defend itself and its citizens, and to release all of the hostages,” Israel’s foreign ministry said.

“The repeated requests for provisional measures made by South Africa in order to assist Hamas are yet another cynical exploitation of the International Court of Justice in the Hague, which has already twice rejected the baseless attempts to deny Israel its right and obligation of self-defense,” it said.

Clayson Monyela, a spokesperson for South Africa’s department of international relations and cooperation, said: “South Africa has spelled out its concerns in its application to the ICJ. They
(Israel) know what they are doing. It is absurd to keep saying that South Africa is acting on behalf of Hamas.”

South Africa in January asked the World Court to declare that Israel was committing genocide in Gaza and to order Israel to stop its military campaign in Gaza. The court did not do this but instead issued a more general order that Israel must make sure it prevents acts of genocide.

South Africa is now asking the top U.N. court to order further steps against Israel, which it said was breaching measures already in place. It said those in Gaza were facing starvation and asked the court to order that all parties cease hostilities and release all hostages and detainees.

“Israel acts and will continue to act in accordance with international law, including by facilitating humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, regardless of any legal proceedings,” the Israeli ministry said. “We call on the ICJ to reject outright the new request of the representatives of Hamas.”

The war in Gaza was sparked by Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and included the seizure of 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies. Israel’s military campaign has since killed more than 30,000 Palestinians, Gaza health authorities say.

Israel has pledged to continue its offensive until it eliminates Hamas, which rules Gaza and is sworn to Israel’s destruction, and secures the release of more than 130 Israeli hostages still in Gaza.

Source: Reuters