SA’s portrayed Israel as a lawless state that’s above the law, ICJ hears

CAPE TOWN – Israel has concluded its arguments before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), saying South Africa has portrayed it as a lawless state that’s above the law.

It’s asked the world’s highest court to reject South Africa’s application for an order on provisional measures to stop its military operations in Gaza.

Israel said that to do so would encourage terror organisations around the world to launch attacks, such as on 7 October when over 1,000 Israeli civilians were killed and more than 200 taken hostage.


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In closing remarks to the court after two days of hearings, Israel’s deputy attorney general, Gilad Noam, said South Africa had misled the court that a dispute existed between the two countries.

He said the war instigated by the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, did not fall within the genocide convention.

Noam added that Israel has the right to protect itself against an enemy hiding behind civilians.

“Yes, there’s a heart-wrenching armed conflict. But the attempt to classify it as genocide and to trigger provisional measures is not just unfounded in law, it has far-reaching and negative implications that extend well beyond the case before you.”

Noam said South Africa had defamed Israel’s leaders and society in these proceedings by interpreting their statements as the intent to commit genocide.

“The shock, anxiety and deep pain that have affected Israeli society since October 7th, naturally leads to harsh statements regarding the enemy.”

The court’s president, Joan Donoghue, said the court would render an order on South Africa’s request in a public sitting as soon as possible.