Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 26 January regarding the lawsuit brought by South Africa accusing Israel of committing “acts of genocide” in the Gaza Strip.
In a video statement published on the “X” platform, Netanyahu claimed, “Israel’s commitment to international law is unwavering, and at the same time, our sacred commitment to continue defending our country and defending our people is unwavering. Israel, like any other country, has an inherent right to defend itself.”
Earlier in the day, the ICJ ordered that Israel take steps to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza by its military. The court also recognized the Palestinians’ right to be protected from acts of genocide, and ordered Israel to prevent and punish incitement to genocide in the Strip.
However, the court stopped short of ordering a ceasefire.
Netanyahu described the court’s decision as “a vile attempt to deprive Israel of the right to defend itself, and it is blatant discrimination against the Jewish state,” stressing his rejection of that attempt.
In contrast, the State of Palestine hailed the judges of the ICJ, saying, “The State of Israel now stands accused of destroying an entire population, facing charges of genocide.”
Palestine described the decision as “historic” and “called on the international community to pressure Israel to cease its ongoing aggression against the Gaza Strip, halt the genocide, end all destructive operations, and cease forced displacement.”
The State of Palestine also urged the swift implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2720, facilitating the immediate entry of humanitarian aid and allowing the prompt return of displaced individuals to their homes.
Israel began its military operation in Gaza on 7 October following the Hamas attack on military bases and settlements surrounding the beseiged enclave. Some 1,200 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed, including some by Hamas and others by Israeli forces to prevent Hamas taking them captive back to Gaza, per the Hannibal Directive.
In Gaza, Israel has killed at least 183 Palestinians and wounded 377 others in the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.
Since 7 October, Israel has killed over 26,000 Palestinians, the majority women and children, while destroying large swathes of Gaza, including residential neighborhoods, hospitals, mosques, churches, and graveyards.
Israel has also tightened its blockade on the Strip, putting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians at risk of starvation. Ninety-three percent of people there face “crisis levels of hunger,” according to a report published by a UN-backed international consortium in late December.