Israel decided to appear at the United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague, the Netherlands, in the hearing of the case filed by South Africa alleging “genocidal” acts in Gaza, Israeli news website Ynet reported Monday evening.
“Israel has signed the convention against genocide for decades, and we will certainly not boycott the proceeding, but stand up and repel the absurd blood plot against us,” Israel’s national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi told the website.
According to the report, the decision was preceded by intensive discussions in Israel by senior officials led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
South Africa filed a case on Friday in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel claiming “alleged violations of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the ‘Genocide Convention’) in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” according to an ICJ press release.
In its application to the UN court, South Africa said that “acts and omissions by Israel … are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent … to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group.”
South Africa also said that “the conduct of Israel — through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence — in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention.”
“Israel, since 7 October 2023 in particular, has failed to prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide” and that “Israel has engaged in, is engaging in and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” said the South African application.
South Africa urged the UN court to take “provisional measures” to “protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention.”
It also called on the ICJ for measures “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide.”
The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the UN Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946.