Top UN Court Issues Ruling on Gaza War

( – The United Nations’ high court has ruled that Israel must adhere to the terms of the Genocide Convention in its war against Hamas. The ruling came after South Africa filed a complaint against the Jewish state, claiming it was engaged in Palestinian genocide. President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Joan E. Donoghue said Israel must also permit aid to reach the people of Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded, saying, “Israel’s commitment to international law is unwavering. Equally unwavering is our sacred commitment to continue to defend our country and defend our people.”

Netanyahu went on to state that Israel, like any country, has the right to defend itself, and attempts to deny this right to his nation amounts to “blatant discrimination.”

South Africa argued that Israel’s response to the Hamas terror attack last year was disproportionate and demonstrated an intention to commit genocide. Lawyer Adila Hassim cited Hamas figures which claim that more than 23,000 people have died as a result of Israel’s military action, and more than 350,000 homes destroyed. She added that Israel’s refusal to allow aid into the Gaza Strip had caused starvation and dehydration.

Israel replied a day later, saying South Africa had proven no intent to genocide and said it had acted in self-defense only. Israeli Foreign Minister Tal Becker added that the only country subjected to genocide attempts is Israel.

Professor Malcolm Shaw, speaking for the Jewish state, questioned South Africa’s motivations in bringing the case and said it has previously provided “succor” to Hamas. South Africa’s pro-Palestinian position has caused division at home, with the Jewish Board of Deputies requesting an urgent meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In 1997, South Africa’s first post-apartheid President, Nelson Mandela, expressed his support for the Palestinian cause and said, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” President Ramaphosa has likewise expressed his solidarity with Hamas and compared Palestinians with black South Africans during apartheid.

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