Israel will defend itself before the United Nation’s top court against charges that it has engaged in genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, officials said Tuesday, setting the stage for what is likely to be a landmark case in international law.
South Africa launched the case Friday at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands, saying the Israeli military campaign targeting Hamas has resulted in enough death, destruction and humanitarian crisis in Gaza to meet the threshold of genocide under international law. South Africa asked the court to order Israel to halt its attacks in Gaza.
Israel rarely cooperates in international court cases against it, dismissing the United Nations and international tribunals as unfair and biased. Its decision to respond to the charge signals that the government is concerned about the potential damage to its reputation.