The International Criminal Court will start hearing the case against Israel on charges of genocide in Gaza on Thursday. South Africa filed the case against Tel Aviv in December.
Speaking about the hearing on Wednesday, Israeli government spokesman Ayalon Levy said Tel Aviv will appear in court to prove South Africa’s accusations are false. Meanwhile, before the hearings began, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tel Aviv had no plans to permanently occupy Gaza or settle Palestinians.
The 84-page complaint submitted by South Africa states that it violated the 1948 Genocide Convention. Both Israel and South Africa are signatories to the UN Genocide Convention. They have jurisdiction to settle disputes in the ICJ, the highest legal body of the United Nations.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday. In the meeting, he said that the United States supports the formation of a Palestinian state.
23,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks, including more than 10,000 children.