The leader reiterates Israel's intentions in Gaza after repeated criticism from human rights groups
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that his country has no plans for a long-term occupation of Gaza and does not seek to displace civilians there. The Jewish state faces increasing scrutiny over its months-long military campaign, including accusations “Genocide” By South Africa.
Speaking in a brief video statement released in English on Wednesday night, Netanyahu sought to clarify several points, saying that IDF operations did not target non-combatants in Gaza and focused only on Hamas fighters.
“Israel has no intention of permanently occupying Gaza or displacing its civilian population. Israel is fighting Hamas terrorists, not the Palestinian population, and we do so in full compliance with international law.” The Prime Minister said. He added that the Israeli forces are doing what they are doing “My best” To avoid killing civilians while Hamas was using bystanders “Human shields”.
Netanyahu went on to say that Israel's main goals are “Ridicating Gaza of Hamas terrorists and releasing our hostages” And then it will be the pocket “Demilitarization and de-extremism.” But the leader did not explain what this would entail.
This statement comes at a time when Israel is scheduled to face charges of genocide before the International Court of Justice in a case brought by South Africa, which has become increasingly critical of the attack on Gaza. The world body is scheduled to hold hearings later this week to determine whether Israel has violated the 1948 Genocide Convention, a convention that prohibits any crime. “Acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”
Pretoria requested an emergency ruling demanding a halt to the military campaign in Gaza, while President Cyril Ramaphosa said the case was initiated because “Continuous slaughter” of Palestinian civilians.
Israeli government spokesman Elon Levy also commented on the actions on Wednesday, rejecting the charge of genocide as an example of anti-Semitism. “Blood libel” Accusing South Africa of providing “Political and legal cover for the usurping Hamas regime”
South Africa was not alone in its criticism of the recent Israeli army operation, as a number of human rights organizations, including the United Nations, warned of a dire humanitarian crisis due to the Israeli bombing and siege.
During a press conference last week, UN Humanitarian Coordinator Martin Griffiths said Gaza was in ruins under Israeli air strikes and bombing, noting that the Strip's 2.3 million residents were facing danger. “Daily threats to their very existence.” He described Gaza as… “Uninhabitable” After three months of war, he warned of a looming famine and a public health emergency amid severe shortages of basic goods.
According to local officials, more than 23,000 Gazans have been killed since Israel launched its operation, which came in response to a Hamas terrorist attack in October that killed about 1,200 people. The Palestinian armed group also took more than 200 hostages, although about half of them were released in a prisoner exchange between the warring parties.