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Israel accuses South Africa of false claims at ICJ

South African delegation at the ICJ (16/05/24)

Israel has accused South Africa of bringing “biased and false claims” to the UN’s top court in an attempt to force it to stop its military campaign in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) began two days of hearings on Thursday, when South Africa told the court that Israel intended to “wipe [the Palestinians] off the face of the Earth”, calling Rafah “the final stand”.

Lawyers for Israel are presenting their response to the court on Friday.

The court is already considering a case brought by South Africa in January accusing Israel of committing genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. Israel has rejected the claim as false and “grossly distorted”.

In its latest application, South Africa is also seeking to force Israel to allow “unimpeded access” to Gaza for aid workers, journalists and investigators.

Israel began its attack on Hamas in Rafah 11 days ago, amid warnings from the UN and others of a grave risk to civilians. More than a million displaced people had taken refuge in Rafah and more than 630,000 have now fled from there since the start of the operation, the UN says.

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