Government says evidence of genocidal acts being perpetrated in the Palestinian territory of Gaza is both chilling and incontrovertible.
Its legal team, appearing before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Thursday, has argued that Israeli leaders cannot deny their statements against Palestinians have genocidal intent.
South Africa has on Thursday been delivering its oral arguments in its dispute against Israel, which it says is breaching the UN convention on genocide.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said that hatred towards Palestinians was embedded in the fabric of Israeli society.
The South African legal team said that the attacks on Gaza since Hamas killed 1,300 Israelis and took more than 200 of them hostage had been calculated.
In arguing that Israel’s actions had genocidal intent, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi told the world’s highest court that Israeli leaders could not claim their statements against Palestinians have been misunderstood.
“Members of the Knesset have repeatedly called for Gaza to be wiped out, flattened, erased and crushed on all its inhabitants. They have deplored anyone feeling sorry for the uninvolved Gazans.”
He told the court that Gaza was a place of death and despair and that Israel had been targeting infrastructure critical for human survival.
“Genocidal utterances are not out on the fringes, they are embodied in state policy. The intent to destroy is plainly understood by soldiers on the ground.”
The hearing continues.