Israel Calls South Africa The "Legal Arm Of Hamas" After 1st Day Of Hague Genocide Case

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jan 11, 2024 - 04:45 PM

After the opening day of hearings at The Hague for South African's genocide case against Israel, the Israeli Foreign Ministry blasted the South African government, saying it is "functioning as the legal arm of Hamas."

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lior Haia further called the proceedings "one of the greatest displays of hypocrisy in history" soon after the first day wrapped up.

Via AP

He also said that South Africa "seeks to allow Hamas to return to commit the war crimes, crimes against humanity and sexual crimes they committed repeatedly on October 7," in a statement posted to X, additionally calling South Africa's lawyers "the representatives of Hamas at the court."

For the first day of its International Court of Justice case (ICJ, or also commonly called the World Court), South Africa urged an "end to the targeting of healthcare workers, facilities, ambulances and civilians, including women and children" and "a permanent ceasefire and a diplomatic solution for lasting peace."

Despite it having no power to actually make this happen, other than symbolic censure, Pretoria is demanding that the court impose an order for Israel to immediately halt fighting and abide by a ceasefire.

According to a summary of South Africa's filing at the court:

The case lists the killing of Palestinians in Gaza in large numbers, especially children; the destruction of their homes; their expulsion and displacement; and a blockade on food, water and medical assistance to the strip as acts of genocide. It also includes the destruction of essential health services crucial for the survival of pregnant women and babies as further crimes of genocide against Israel.

Israel denies the allegations of genocide and says it launched the bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza to destroy Hamas, which killed 1,139 people in attacks on October 7 in southern Israel.

To be sure, there is a minority view in South Africa— mostly among the small white community — that is more sympathetic to Israel. "The comparison to South African apartheid is fully embraced by some but rejected by others," said 28-year-old Mark du Plessis, a Cape Town-based multimedia producer who requested that his real name be withheld in South Africa’s charged atmosphere over the war.

Starting last month, Israel's Foreign Ministry issued a blistering rebuke in response, rejecting the filing "with disgust" and called Pretoria's accusations a "blood libel" - essentially saying the South African government's charge is being fueled by antisemitism.

Israel has gone on a full-court diplomatic press pushing back against the case. There's not much that the court can enforce in terms of action regardless, but a ruling against Israel would be a huge reputational black eye. International boycotts of Israeli goods could also grow as a result.

"We call on the International Court of Justice and the international community to reject the baseless claims of South Africa out of hand," a prior formal government response stated. Major US mainstream networks largely ignored Thursday's World Court proceedings, while Al Jazeera streamed most of it live.

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Watch the day one oral arguments...