Israel declassifies official orders it says refute genocide claims ahead of ICJ decision

L-R: Dr. Tal Becker, Prof. Malcolm Shaw KC, Dr, Gilad Noam, Dr. Galit Raguan attend a hearing in the case brought to the International Court of Justice at The Hague in which South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide in its war with Hamas in Gaza, January 12, 2024. (International Court of Justice)
L-R: Dr. Tal Becker, Prof. Malcolm Shaw KC, Dr, Gilad Noam, Dr. Galit Raguan attend a hearing in the case brought to the International Court of Justice at The Hague in which South Africa has accused Israel of committing genocide in its war with Hamas in Gaza, January 12, 2024. (International Court of Justice)

Israel has declassified more than 30 orders made by government and military leaders, which it says rebut South Africa’s claim in the International Court of Justice that it is committing genocide and instead show that it is seeking to limit civilian deaths in Gaza, The New York Times reports.

The report comes a day before the ICJ is slated to rule on whether to issue an injunction ordering an immediate ceasefire.

The documents aim to demonstrate that incendiary comments made by Israeli officials — which South Africa used to argue intent in Jerusalem to commit genocide — played no role in the decision making.

Part of Israel’s defense is to prove that whatever politicians may have said in public was overruled by executive decisions and official orders from the war cabinet and the military’s command.

“The prime minister stressed time and again the need to increase significantly the humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip,” reads one declassified document — the minutes from a November 14 cabinet meeting.

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