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6 Jan, 2024 08:47

Israel aiming to derail ICJ genocide case – Axios

The Foreign Ministry wants other countries to back its claim that South Africa’s allegations are “absurd and baseless”
Israel aiming to derail ICJ genocide case – Axios

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has ordered its embassies across the globe to pressure their host countries to reject South Africa’s genocide case against it at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Axios has reported, citing an urgent diplomatic cable.

Pretoria addressed the ICJ last week, claiming that Israel’s ongoing attacks on Gaza are “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part” of the Palestinian population. South Africa wants the The Hague-based court to issue an injunction ordering the IDF to suspend its military campaign in the enclave. More than 22,600 people have been killed in Gaza over the past three months, according to the local health ministry.

The cable, which was sent out by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, stresses that Israel’s “strategic goals” are for the ICJ to reject South Africa’s request for an injunction, refrain from determining that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and acknowledge that the IDF’s actions in the enclave comply with nternational law, Axios said in an article on Saturday.

"A ruling by the court could have significant potential implications that are not only in the legal world but have practical bilateral, multilateral, economic, security ramifications,” the document, copies of which were seen by the outlet, read.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Israeli diplomats must pressure their counterparts and high-level politicians in host countries to issue “immediate and unequivocal public statement along the following lines: To publicly and clearly state that YOUR COUNTRY rejects the outragest, absurd and baseless allegations made against Israel.”

It’s also important for foreign nations “to publicly acknowledge that Israel is working to increase the humanitarian aid to Gaza, as well as to minimize damage to civilians, while acting in self defense after the horrible October 7 attack by a genocidal terrorist organization [Hamas],” the cable read.

The Foreign Ministry stressed that Israeli diplomats must urgently work on obtaining such statements so that they come out before the ICJ hearings begin on January 11. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also send letters to dozens of world leaders, relaying a similar message, it added.

Countries like Türkiye, Jordan, and Malaysia have supported South Africa’s cases. However, it was rejected by Israel’s prime backer, the US. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said earlier this week that “we are not seeing any acts that constitute genocide” in Gaza.