Some more now from the International Court of Justice, where Israel described the charge of genocide levelled against it by South Africa as a “libel.”

“It is respectfully submitted that the application and request should be dismissed for what they are: a libel designed to deny Israel the right to defend itself according to the law from the unprecedented terrorist onslaught it continues to face and to free the 136 hostages Hamas still holds,” said Tal Becker, one of the lawyers representing Israel.

Becker was echoing claims made by Israel ahead of the hearing at The Hague.

Israeli officials called the accusation of genocide a “blood libel” by South Africa, a thinly veiled accusation of antisemitism.

“What Israel seeks by operating in Gaza, is not to destroy a people, but to protect a people, its people, who are under attack on multiple fronts,” Becker said, adding that Israel is fighting Hamas terrorists not the civilian population.

He reaffirmed comments made by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel does not seek to “permanently occupy Gaza or to displace its civilian population.”

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