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Israel rejects South Africa's accusations at the UN World Court

Israel rejects South Africa's accusations at the UN World Court


Regarding the ongoing case of South Africa accusing Israel of violating its obligations under Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention), the new request, filed on May 10, requested by ICJ to order Israel to withdraw immediately and cease its military operations in the Rafah government.

Gilad Noam presents Israel's arguments at the ICJ.

A shameful exploit

Appearing before the Court, Gilad Noam, Israel's co-agent, rejected South Africa's claims, calling it a shameful exploitation of the most sacred Genocide Convention.

South Africa presents the Court again for the fourth time in the space of less than five months, with an image completely detached from the facts and circumstances.

He stated that Israel is involved in a difficult and tragic armed conflict, a fact essential to understanding the situation, but which has been ignored by South Africa.

This makes a mockery of the hateful accusation of the facts of genocide important, and the truth should matter. Words must retain their meaning. Calling something genocide over and over again does not make it genocide, he added.

Israel did not start the war

Mr. Noam further said that it was not Israel that started the war, recalling the horrific attack on October 7, 2023 by Hamas and other Palestinian groups targeting Israeli civilians and communities, killing over 1,200 and taking 254 women, men hostage and children.

He added that Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza continue to attack Israel, displacing communities and destroying homes and infrastructure. Furthermore, Hamas continues to use Palestinian civilians as human shields.

Rafah, in particular, is a focal point for ongoing terrorist activity, he said, accusing Hamas of having a complex infrastructure of underground tunnels with command and control rooms, military equipment and potentially smuggling Israeli hostages from Gaza.

He also noted that although the ICJ called for the immediate release of the hostages, they remain in captivity.

Israel's co-agent, Gilad Noam, at the public hearings in the case of South Africa v. Israel at the ICJ.

Israel's co-agent, Gilad Noam, at the public hearings in the South Africa v. Israel case at the ICJ.

Not a large-scale operation

The reality is that any state put in Israel's predicament would do the same. The right of defense against the brutality of the terrorist organization Hamas cannot be questioned. It is a natural right given to Israel, just like any state, Mr. Noam said.

The Israeli representative stated his country's commitment to defend itself, in accordance with the law, which is why it has worked diligently to enable the protection of civilians, even as Hamas aims to endanger them.

That is why there has not been a large-scale attack in Rafah, but specific, limited and localized operations preceded by evacuation efforts and support for humanitarian activities, he added.

Fully and sincerely engaged

At the end of his statement, Mr. Noam cited the Courts' rejection of previous South African requests for similar interim measures and added that it would be wholly inappropriate to grant an interim measure on such terms.

South Africa has not provided sufficient reasons why the Court should now deviate from or essentially double down on its previous rulings, he said, noting that Israel is fully and sincerely engaged in the proceedings, despite wild claims and slanders brought against him.

[Israel] has consistently made clear its unwavering commitment to its obligations under international law. It has done so while fighting continues and its citizens are still under attack, he said.




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