Genocide lawsuit against Israel ‘preposterous’ – president
Israeli President Isaac Herzog has dismissed the genocide lawsuit brought against his country over the staggering civilian deaths in Gaza. He made the comment while meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday.
“There is nothing more atrocious and preposterous” than a case filed in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by South Africa against the State of Israel, Herzog said.
South Africa brought the case before the UN court on December 29, with the hearings set to begin on Thursday. Israel has been accused of violating international humanitarian law by “engaging in genocidal acts” against the Palestinians. More than 22,000 people were killed in Gaza during Israel’s airstrikes and ground invasion, according to the local Hamas-run authorities.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the government say Hamas should be blamed for the civilian deaths in Gaza, accusing the militant group of using people as human shields. The IDF claimed it was working to minimize civilian casualties.
“Actually our enemies, Hamas, in their charter, call for the destruction of our nation, the State of Israel – the only nation-state of the Jewish people,” Herzog said. He added that Israel would present its “case of using self-defense under [their] most inherent right under international humanitarian law.”
The latest round of violence between Israel and Hamas erupted on October 7, when the Palestinian militants carried out a surprise attack on Israeli soil, killing around 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. Israel responded by declaring war on Hamas with the goal of “eradicating” the group.
The UN says the siege of the densely populated enclave has led to a humanitarian catastrophe, with people lacking food and basic supplies.