South Africa believes that Israel is behind the genocide in Gaza. “Dehumanizing” statements made by Israeli politicians are used as evidence.
The short version
- South Africa accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza before the International Court of Justice. The state uses the statements of Israeli politicians as evidence.
The summary is created with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and quality guaranteed by Aftenposten journalists.
On December 29, South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel with the International Court of Justice. Israel is accused of violating the agreement GenocideGenocideGenocide is acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group. During the war in the Gaza Strip.
Now South Africa has published more detailed accusations in a file Long document 84 pages.
They begin the accusations by condemning all violations of international law, including the attack launched by Hamas on Israel on October 7. Then 1,200 people were killed, most of them civilians, while about 240 people were taken hostage.
But, says South Africa, no attack on a state, even one that has committed atrocities, can justify retaliation that violates the Genocide Convention.
According to South Africa, this supports the accusation that Israel committed genocide:
- The war aims to destroy a large portion of the Palestinians as a population group in Gaza. The indictment said the attack was so widespread that Gaza now looks different from space.
- Killing Palestinians. More than 22,300 people were killed, including 8,200 children, according to updated figures issued by Palestinian health authorities.
- Palestinians have suffered serious physical and mental injuries.
- Palestinians have been exposed to living conditions that could lead to their physical destruction. Almost the entire population has been forced to flee and many are starving. “The Shujaiya neighborhood in Gaza City, where 110,000 people used to live, is said to have turned into barren, flat land as far as the eye could see.”
- Israel has not stopped or punished public calls for genocide by Israeli officials or others.
Allegations that Israelis incited genocide
Many central politicians in Israel are accused of inciting genocide and dehumanizing Palestinians using words. Here are some quotes that have been republished:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Israeli soldiers will “defeat the bloodthirsty monsters” that will destroy us.
In a message to Israeli soldiers, Netanyahu quoted the Biblical story of the Israelites’ war against the Amalekites: “Attack the Amalekites, and spare no one, and kill the men, women, children, oxen, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”
Defense Minister Yoav Galan October 9: We “impose a complete siege on Gaza. No electricity, no food, no water, everything is closed. “We fight against human animals and we act accordingly.”
Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir November 10: “To be clear. When we say we want to destroy Hamas, it also means that those who praise, those who support, those who distribute candy – they are all terrorists and must be destroyed as well.”
Minister of Cultural Heritage Amichai Eliyahu“North Gaza is more beautiful than ever. Everything has been blown to the ground. A feast for the eyes.” He called for distributing land in Gaza to the Israelis and launching a nuclear attack on Gaza.
Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter“We are now implementing the Nakba in Gaza.” The Nakba refers to the year 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee what is now Israel.
Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Nissim Vaturi October 7: “We now have one common goal – to wipe the Gaza Strip off the face of the earth.”
Ezra Yashin, 95-year-old war veteran It was posted on social media on October 11. He was driving around in a military vehicle and wearing a uniform: “Erase their memory. Delete them, their families, their mothers and their children. These animals can no longer live… Every Jew with a weapon must go out and kill them. “If you have an Arab neighbor, don’t wait, go to his house and shoot him.”
Colonel Yogev Barshet About Gaza in a television broadcast on November 4: “If anyone comes back here, they will find scorched earth. No homes, no agriculture, nothing. They have no future.”
– Israel is worried
Israel sends representatives to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, to defend the country against South Africa's accusations.
Legal experts have warned the Israeli authorities that: There is a real risk that the court will adopt a legal order requiring Israel to cease hostilities. The left-wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote this earlier this week.
Issuing a legal order from the court would pose a serious problem for Israel, which is bound by the court’s decisions. Israel ratified the Genocide Convention in 1950.
It may become more difficult for the United States if it continues to block resolutions calling for a ceasefire in the United Nations Security Council.
The Israeli authorities believe that it is necessary to continue the war in Gaza for several months in order to crush Hamas. They believe that a forced cessation of hostilities would be a victory for Hamas.
The Israeli authorities say they are waging a “moral” war and have rejected the accusations made by South Africa, describing them as “outrageous and false.”
– No, South Africa, it is not us who came to carry out genocide, but rather Hamas, Netanyahu said on December 31.
The International Court of Justice is scheduled to soon schedule public hearings in the case, according to the Associated Press. South Africa and Israel lawyers can provide arguments. The justices will likely spend a few days or weeks deciding whether to issue a preliminary ceasefire order against Israel, the Associated Press writes.
Barth Eide supports Israel's appearance at the International Court of Justice
Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (AFP) said that Israel's appearance before the International Court of Justice to challenge genocide charges is positive.
It came in response to Rødt's Stine Westrum during question time in the Storting on Wednesday.
– I think the fact that Israel said they can appear in court is a good thing. If they think this is not true, they should explain it there. In that sense, I would say that this is a question for the court, so it is the court that decides where the person is, as Parth Eddy said.
But he added that he himself believes this is not genocide.
– I think we are talking more about war crimes or crimes against humanity, but there are also questions that need legal clarification. But Norway has great faith in international law and believes that international courts exist and can be resorted to.
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