Israel To ICJ: Rafah ‘Focal Point Of Hamas Terrorism’- 700 Tunnels, 50 Crossing Into Egypt

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JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Israel responded Frida to South Africa’s appeal from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, after the court on Thursday opened two days of hearings into a request asking it to issue additional temporary orders against Israel. South Africa is requesting  that the court halt Israel’s military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah by forcing a cease-fire, according to a Ynet report.

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It is the fourth time South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice for emergency measures since the nation launched proceedings, alleging that Israel’s military action in its war with Hamas in Gaza amounts to genocide. Israeli jurists believe that the court will make the decision on whether to grant South Africa’s request within a few days, due to the urgency of the request.

If Israel ignores any new orders, the issue will go to the Security Council, where the US may side with Israel and impose a veto. However Israel fears that disobeying the orders to stop the war could further complicate Israel’s political situation vis-à-vis various countries, and especially vis-à-vis important countries such as Great Britain and Germany, and may even cause those countries to consider imposing an arms embargo.

Issuing orders that Israel will not comply with could also greatly increase the chance that the International Criminal Court in The Hague will issue arrest warrants against senior Israeli officials. The Office of the Chief Prosecutor in The Hague is already discussing several open cases against Israel and Hamas and, as far as is known, at least one of them is related to construction in the settlements and one to the war in Gaza.

In the first months of the war, South Africa appealed to the International Court of Justice and accused Israel of genocide in Gaza. In her renewed application to the court, she asked for orders to be issued in order to “protect against further, serious and irreversible damage to the rights of the Palestinian people within the framework of the Genocide Convention”, and “to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligation under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and punish for genocide.”

Israeli Justice Ministry official Gilad Noam called South Africa’s case, which accuses Israel of violating the Genocide Convention, “completely divorced from facts and circumstances”.

“This case makes a mockery of the heinous charge of genocide,” Noam said. “Israel is engaged in a war it did not want and did not start. it is under attack and is fighting to defend itself and its citizens.”

“Hamas has vowed to continue the atrocities of October 7 many times over. Rafah in particular is a focal point for ongoing terrorist activity. Nearly 700 tunnel shafts have been identified in Rafah, from which approximately 50 tunnels cross into Egypt.These tunnels are used by Hamas to supply itself with weapons and ammunition and could potentially be used to smuggle out of Gaza hostages, or Hamas senior operators,” Noam told the court.

“At what point do we say enough to South Africa’s repeated attempts to exploit the provisional measure procedure of this court in such a vile and cynical manner?” Noam wondered.

“This war, like all wars, is tragic and terrible for Israelis and Palestinians, and it has exacted a terrible human price — but it is not genocide. I can only recall once again that Israel made it clear that if the hostages were released and Hamas were to lay down its arms the hostilities would cease.”

“South Africa has asked the court to order the cessation of military operation by Israel in its previous request. The court has not done so. The court is well aware that to do so would mean that 132 hostages would remain to languish in Hamas’ tunnels forsaken. It would mean that Hamas would be left unhindered and free to continue its attacks against Israeli territory and Israeli civilians. It would turn the Genocide Convention into a sword rather than a shield,” he added.

Foreign Ministry deputy legal adviser, Tamar Kaplan Turgeman, detailed to the court Israel’s humanitarian and medical aid efforts throughout the Gaza Strip during its offensive in Gaza.

“The State of Israel requests the court to reject the request for the modification and indication of provisional measures submitted by the Republic of South Africa,” Kaplan Turgeman concluded, after which a woman in the crowd yelled toward her “Liars, liars and free Palestine” before being escorted out of the room.

The court posited a question to Israel asking if it can provide information “about the existing humanitarian conditions in the designated evacuation zones,” and how it means to ensure safe passage to these zones alongside humanitarian assistance to all evacuees that are present and are expected to arrive in them.

The ICJ has allowed Israel to answer the court’s inquiry by Saturday evening.


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Not Israel's responsibility
Not Israel's responsibility
1 month ago

Many Jews had to be evacuated from towns near Gaza and in the north. Did Hamas and Hezbollah have to answer to courts about
humanitarian conditions in the designated evacuation zones?. No, it was Israel’s responsibility. And it is Hamas’s responsibility, not Israel, to ensure that it’s residents have humanitarian conditions.

unjust courts
unjust courts
1 month ago

“The Hague is already discussing several open cases against Israel and Hamas and, as far as is known, at least one of them is related to construction in the settlements ” The settlements are not illegal. What is illegal are courts that determimed that land that belongs to the Jewish people is not rightfully belonging to the Jewish people. Israel and the world’s failure to consider Yehuda amd Shomron as part of Eretz Yisroel continues to place Jewish lives im danger.

Zumy
Zumy
1 month ago

Israel ought to demand that the Shabbos be respected and answers that the court requests woukd only be given on Monday. If we keep the Shabbos, Shabbos will keep and protect the Jewish People.

Insane
Insane
1 month ago

Was better when south Africa had a different colored government

XYZ
XYZ
1 month ago

Hey !
Don’t confuse them with the facts !!