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Israel Presents Defense Against Claims of Genocide – HotAir

As you’re probably aware by now, the International Court of Justice at the Hague is hearing arguments this week in a case brought by South Africa against Israel. South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza and is asking the court to demand an immediate ceasefire. Critics have compared South Africa’s actions to “lawfare.”

The 84-page application instituting proceedings against Israel includes a request that the Court require Israel to immediately suspend its war against Hamas. The case that South Africa brings is a clear example of “lawfare”, an abuse of legal processes and legal institutions in order to advance political and propaganda aims against Israel and buttress the internationally proscribed terrorist organisation Hamas…

The definition of genocide is not at issue; it is well settled, commonly agreed and articulated at Article II of the Convention. The critical aspect of genocide is the intention to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such. Only if that intention is established is the legal test for genocide met in respect of specified acts, such as killing or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of a national or ethnic group. What connects these acts is that they serve the intention or the purpose of destroying a specified group.

Hearings in the case began Thursday with the equivalent of an opening statement by South Africa.

Two days of preliminary hearings began with lawyers for South Africa explaining why the country has accused Israel of “acts and omissions” that are “genocidal in character” in the Gaza war and why it is calling for the court to issue an interim order for an immediate halt to Israel’s military actions…

The world court, which rules on disputes between nations, has never judged a country to be responsible for genocide.

This trial could take years to resolve but an interim decision aimed at ordering a ceasefire by Israel could be issued in a matter of weeks if South Africa can successfully make its case.

During opening statements at the International Court of Justice, South African lawyers said the latest Gaza war is part of decades of Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

The court “has the benefit of the past 13 weeks of evidence that shows incontrovertibly a pattern of conduct and related intention” that amounts to “a plausible claim of genocidal acts,” South African lawyer Adila Hassim told the judges and audience in a packed room of the Peace Palace in The Hague…

“The scale of destruction in Gaza, the targeting of family homes and civilians, the war being a war on children, all make clear that genocidal intent is both understood and has been put into practice. The articulated intent is the destruction of Palestinian life,” said lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

Here’s the opening statement of the South African presentation given Thursday by lawyer Adila Hassim.

Today, Israel was given its chance to make its own opening statement, a sustained case that the real genocidal actor in this conflict is Hamas which has vowed to wipe Israel off the map with endless attacks like the one on 10/7. I intended to watch a few minutes of this and wound up watching it all (2nd clip below).

We’ll probably have to wait a few weeks to see what the 17 judges at the court make of these competing arguments.

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