Tel Aviv, January 8: During a trial at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) this week, the Israeli government will present a series of harrowing video accounts of torture and the brutal carnage that was carried out by Hamas militants on October 7, 2023. The government will screen raw video footages received from the body cams of the slain Hamas terrorists.
The videos include militants torturing, brutalising and massacring innocent civilians in southern Israel shortly after the Hamas launched its unprecedented assault. These footages were earlier screened before international media, visiting state heads, diplomats, human rights organisations and also for members of Knesset, or the Israeli Parliament. Israel-Hamas War: Six Killed, Several Injured During Israeli Air Attack in West Bank, Says Palestinian Health Ministry.
The hearings pertain to a case filed by South Africa on December 29, 2023 accusing Israel of committing "genocidal" acts" in Gaza amid the raging war with Hamas. Following its 84-page application to The Hague-based ICJ -- which is the UN's principal judicial organ -- South Africa's presidency said in a statement that the country was obliged "to prevent genocide from occurring".
South Africa is scheduled to present its oral arguments on Thursday, with Israel set to do the same the following day. Immediately after South Africa submitted its application, spokesperson for Israel's Foreign Ministry Lior Haiat had said that the nation's claim "constitutes despicable and contemptuous exploitation of the Court". Israel-Hamas War: Gaza Death Toll Climbs to 22,438 Amid Intense Fighting, Says Palestinian Health Ministry.
He said South Africa was "cooperating with a terrorist organisation that is calling for the destruction of the State of Israel". While confirming that the Israeli government will attend the hearings,National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi told local media last week that the Jewish nation has "signed the convention against genocide for decades, and we will certainly not boycott the proceeding, but stand up and repel the absurd blood plot against us."
The US has also denounced the case, saying it was meritless, counterproductive and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever. Meanwhile, Israel has named retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Aharon Barak, as the country's appointee to the 15-judge ICJ panel that will hear the case.
South Africa has been highly critical of Israel's ongoing military operation in Gaza. In November 2023, it recalled all of its diplomats from Israel. Israel, in turn, recalled its Ambassador from Pretoria.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 08, 2024 09:54 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).