In response to South Africa’s recent filing of a case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel for alleged “genocidal” acts in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted on Sunday that Israel’s conduct in the ongoing Gaza offensive demonstrates unparalleled “morality.” He rejected the accusations of committing genocide in the Palestinian territory and pledged to continue what he termed a “defensive war.”
During a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu stated, “We will continue our defensive war, the justice and morality of which is without peer.” He directly addressed South Africa’s claims, asserting that it is not Israel perpetrating genocide but rather Hamas, the Palestinian militant group. Netanyahu emphasized, “It would murder all of us if it could. In contrast, the IDF (Israeli army) is acting as morally as possible.”
The case brought by South Africa at the ICJ follows Israel’s relentless military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, triggered by an unprecedented attack by Palestinian militants on southern Israel on October 7. According to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures, the militants’ attack resulted in approximately 1,140 deaths, predominantly civilians.
In response to Israel’s offensive, the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza reported that over 21,800 people, the majority being women and children, have lost their lives. Netanyahu’s defense of Israel’s actions comes amid escalating tensions and international scrutiny over the humanitarian impact of the conflict in Gaza.