Following the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) order to Israel to ensure that its forces did not commit “genocide”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the genocide charge levelled against Israel by South Africa was “outrageous” and “decent people everywhere should reject it”.
Israel’s commitment to international law is unwavering. Equally unwavering is our sacred commitment to continue to defend our country and defend our people.
Like every country, Israel has an inherent right to defend itself.
The vile attempt to deny Israel this fundamental right… pic.twitter.com/IvxwF6HHDV
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) January 26, 2024
ALSO READ: Top UN Court Says Israel Must ‘Take All Measures’ To ‘Prevent Genocide’ in Gaza
“The charge of genocide levelled against Israel is not only false, it’s outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it,” the Israeli PM said.
He said that his country has the right to “defend itself” against Hamas’ cross-border attack on October 7 that killed 1,200 people. His statement came after the ICJ, in a hearing in The Hague, Netherlands, ordered Israel to take action to prevent acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip. However, the ICJ did not call for an immediate ceasefire.
Netanyahu responded to the case that was brought by South Africa to the ICJ and said Israel’s commitment to international law was “unwavering”.
Netanyahu said, “On the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I again pledge as Prime Minister of Israel – Never Again. Israel will continue to defend itself against Hamas, a genocidal terror organization.” He said that like every country Israel has the right to defend itself and that the attempt to deny Israel of this fundamental right is “blatant discrimination against the Jewish state” adding it was “justly rejected”.
“The International Court of Justice in The Hague went above and beyond, when it granted South Africa’s antisemitic request to discuss the claim of genocide in Gaza, and now refuses to reject the petition outright,” he said.
Netanyahu did, however, say that Israel wasn’t against Palestinian people and would continue to facilitate humanitarian assistance, and do the “utmost to keep civilians out of harm’s way”.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel did not need to be lectured on morality. Gallant had said Israel would impose a total blockade on Gaza as part of a battle against “human animals” after the October 7 attacks, as per a Reuters report.
The ruling by the court was agreed upon by a 15 to 2 vote. The court also sought a report in one month.