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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pushed back on allegations of Israel committing genocide in Gaza, calling them “nonsense and lies.”

In a statement, Netanyahu addressed South Africa’s charges at the UN’s top court, saying, “I would like to say a word about South Africa’s false accusation that Israel is committing genocide. No, South Africa, it is not we who have come to perpetrate genocide, it is Hamas.”

Defending the actions of Israel’s military, Netanyahu asserted, “Israel’s military is ‘acting as morally as possible’ and doing ‘everything to avoid harming civilians’ as it wages an offensive against Hamas in Gaza. We will continue our war of defense, which is the most just and moral.” He underscored the ethical stance of the military efforts and the nation’s commitment to a defensive war.

Here’s what South Africa said in its court filing:
South Africa said Israel’s military operations in Gaza were “genocidal in character because they are intended to bring about the destruction of a substantial part of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnical group.” The filing also said, “The acts in question include killing Palestinians in Gaza, causing them serious bodily and mental harm, and inflicting on them conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction.”


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