The German government rejected South Africa’s genocide allegations against Israel at the ICJ.
Germany is set to intervene on Israel’s behalf at the international court.
Israel’s PM Netanyahu thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for Berlin’s decision to intervene.
Germany is set to intervene on Israel’s behalf at the Hague after South Africa instituted proceedings accusing Israel of genocide against Palestinians, per a press release by the German federal government.
South Africa officially instituted the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on December 29. A two-day public hearing at the Hague’s Peace Palace began on January 11.
A statement by Steffen Hebestreit, the spokesman for the German federal government, cited the Holocaust and the genocide of six million Jews by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.
“In view of Germany’s history and the crime against humanity of the Shoah, the Federal Government sees itself as particularly committed to the Convention against Genocide. This convention is a central instrument of international law to implement “never again.”
It condemned the genocide claim as “political instrumentalization.”
‘The accusation has no basis in fact’
Hebestreit’s statement argued that Israel has been defending itself against Hamas since the October 7 attacks, contending that Hamas’ goal is to wipe out Israel.
Hamas’ armed incursions killed about 1,200 people and resulted in 247 being taken hostage.
“The German government decisively and expressly rejects the accusation of genocide brought against Israel before the International Court of Justice,” Hebestreit said.
“The accusation has no basis in fact,” he said.
Germany plans to intervene as a third party before the ICJ, allowing states to seek clarification on the use of a multilateral convention. Germany will be allowed to present its own case disputing South Africa’s allegation of genocide against Israel, according to reports.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for Berlin’s decision to intervene in the case, the Times of Israel reports.
“Your stance and Germany’s stance on the side of the truth moves all the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu told Scholz, the Prime Minister’s Office reported.
Netanyahu called the case a “blood libel,” echoing Lior Haiat, Israel’s foreign ministry spokesperson, who first dismissed it as a blood libel the day the proceedings were instituted.
Germany has been steadfast in its commitment to Israel, the Times of Israel reports. Scholz was the first Western leader to visit Israel after October 7 and said that Germany has only “one place” during Israeli hardship, “and that is alongside Israel.”
South Africa’s submission to the ICJ on Thursday declared Israel’s war against Hamas had mutated into widespread killing and a humanitarian crisis that was “nothing short of the destruction of Palestinian life,” said one of South Africa’s lawyers, Adila Hassin.
The Israeli defense called South Africa’s accusations of genocide “baseless, arguing that the stated aim of Israel was the destruction of the Hamas terrorist organization and liberating the hostages that remained imprisoned in Gaza.
More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli’s military campaign on Gaza, and nearly 60,000 have been injured, Al Jazeera reports.
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