The UN’s International Court of Justice begins hearing a case brought by South Africa against Israel on Thursday.
South Africa last month filed the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) seeking a declaration that Israel has committed genocide against Palestine.
The ICJ, sometimes known as the World Court, is the United Nations venue for resolving disputes between states.
South Africa, an ally of Palestine wants this court case to bring attention to Israel’s crackdown against the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza.
But the ICJ will only deliver an opinion on the genocide allegation since the case is not a criminal trial.
Israel has vehemently rejected the accusation as “baseless”. Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said “The State of Israel will appear before the International Court of Justice to dispel South Africa’s absurd blood libel, as Pretoria gives political and legal cover to the Hamas rapist regime.”
The crackdown on Gaza by Israel began on Oct. 7 when militants of the Islamist group Hamas killed 1,200 people in a cross-border attack on Israel and seized 240 hostages by Israel’s count.
“I want to make a few points absolutely clear:
Israel has no intention of permanently occupying Gaza or displacing its civilian population.
Israel is fighting Hamas terrorists, not the Palestinian population, and we are doing so in full compliance with international law. pic.twitter.com/amxFaMnS0P
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) January 10, 2024