Pro-Israel protesters, families of hostages sing to welcome Shabbat outside ICJ, as Israel rebuts genocide accusations

Israel’s defense team highlights Hamas atrocities, dismisses cherry-picked comments by Israeli leaders after October 7th.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s legal defense team offered its rebuttal at the International Court of Justice in The Hague Friday, a day after a South African delegation delivered its evidence to the court to support Pretoria’s claim the Jewish state committed genocide in Gaza.

Pro-Israel demonstrators gathered outside the court, facing off against anti-Israel protesters, as Jerusalem’s chief courtroom advocate, Professor Malcolm Shaw, argued his case.

Israel National News reported that families of the Israelis held captive by Hamas sang ‘Shalom Aleichem,’ a prayer that welcomes in the Sabbath, outside of the court, and set up a Shabbat table with empty chairs representing the hostages who are still being held in Gaza.

On Thursday, South Africa’s legal team referenced numerous comments by Israeli military and political leaders in the wake of the October 7th invasion, claiming they showed an intent to carry out genocide against Gazans, thus framing Israel’s military response to the Hamas attacks as an attempt to ethnically cleanse the Gaza Strip.

Opening Israel’s rebuttal Friday, Israeli Foreign Ministry adviser Tal Becker excoriated South Africa, accusing its government of “grossly” distorting events, highlighting Hamas atrocities, including the massacre and abduction of Israeli civilians.

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“Hamas terrorists tortured, burned, raped and abducted Israeli citizens,” Becker said, noting the Pretoria’s legal team had neglected to mention Gazan atrocities which sparked the current war.

Becker added that Israel has strictly adhered to international laws of war, adding “but it does so in the face of Hamas’s utter contempt for the law.”

Malcolm Shaw followed Becker’s statement, denying that the comments by Israeli leaders presented on Thursday indicated Israel’s intention to carry out genocide after October 7th.

“To produce random quotes which are not in conformity with government policy is misleading at best,” Shaw said.

Shaw also cited repeated comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “we must prevent a humanitarian disaster,” and reopening of Israel’s supply of water to Gaza as disproving Pretoria’s claim that Israel planned to commit genocide.

In addition, Shaw cited Israeli military directives after October 7th put in place to reduce collateral damage.

“‘Attacks will be solely directed at military targets while adhering to the principles of distinction, proportionality, taking precautions in attacks to reduce collateral damage’ — this is a directive that binds all IDF forces,” Shaw said, quoting one such directive.

“Not every conflict is genocidal. The crime of genocide in international law and under the Genocide Convention is a uniquely malicious manifestation and stands alone among violations of international law as the zenith of evil, the crime of crimes, ultimate in wickedness.”

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“If claims of genocide were to become common currency of armed conflict wherever that occurred, the essence of that crime would be lost.”