As the hearing at the International Court of Justice in The Hague gets underway on charges made against Israel by South Africa, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has posted a video clip in English.
He said, "I want to make a few points absolutely clear. Israel has no intention of permanently occupying Gaza or displacing its civilian population. Israel is fighting Hamas terrorists, not the Palestinian population, and we are doing so in full compliance with international law."
"Our goal is to rid Gaza of Hamas terrorists and free our hostages. Once this is achieved, Gaza can be demilitarized and de-radicalized, thereby creating a possibility for a better future for Israel and Palestinians alike."
South Africa alleges violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israel is a signatory to the convention, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.
Netanyahu's comments come after Israeli government ministers have suggested re-establishing Jewish settlements in Gaza and encouraging Palestinians to emigrate. Israel will be represented in the The Hague by UK attorney Prof. Malcolm Shaw, a specialist on international law.
There will be 17 judges on the panel, including former Israeli Supreme Court President Aharon Barak representing Israel, a South African judge and 15 judges from the US, Russia, China, Somalia, Slovakia, France, Morocco, Lebanon, Japan, India, Brazil, Australia, Uganda, Jamaica, and Germany.
The danger confronting Israel is that the court will issue an order that will limit its activities in the Gaza Strip in the fight against Hamas. The court does not impose sanctions, but it may turn to the UN Security Council to request enforcement. However, in the UN Security Council, the US has a right of veto, in contrast to its power in the ICJ, where it has one of 15 judges.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 11, 2024.
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.