Israel says humanitarian aid efforts in Gaza disprove genocide claim

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Dr. Galit Raguan speaks in defense of Israel during the second day of hearings at the World Court, January 12, 2024. (Youtube screenshot)
Dr. Galit Raguan speaks in defense of Israel during the second day of hearings at the World Court, January 12, 2024. (Youtube screenshot)

Dr. Galit Raguan, speaking in defense of Israel’s actions in Gaza, tells the court that Israeli policies of warning Palestinian civilians to evacuate from war zones and providing humanitarian aid demonstrate that there is not even plausibility to South Africa’s claims of genocide.

Raguan provides evidence of these practices, as well as the widespread use by Hamas of civilian infrastructure in Gaza, and says that it is this deliberate military strategy of Hamas that is the true source of civilian harm in Gaza and not any claimed genocidal campaign.

Raguan also denounces South Africa’s claims that Israel’s warnings to civilians to evacuate combat areas were an effort to destroy the Palestinian people.

“The applicant astonishingly claims that these efforts are themselves genocidal. A measure intended to mitigate harm to civilians is proof, according to the applicant, of Israel’s intent to commit genocide when it in fact proves the exact opposite,” she says.

Listing numerous Israeli efforts to facilitate humanitarian aid, including ambulances, hospital incubators, the supply of food, water, and medicine, the establishment of four field hospitals and two floating hospitals in the Mediterranean Sea, and the fact that Hamas steals humanitarian aid, she says this totally undermines the notion that Israel is seeking to destroy the Palestinian people in Gaza.

“Even this mere fraction is enough to demonstrate how tendentious the allegations of the South Africans are and how the allegations of genocide are baseless,” she says of the Israeli efforts.

“Would Israel delay its ground operation for weeks, would it invest massive resources to tell civilians where, when and how to [evacuate], to leave areas of fighting?” Raguan asks, saying that if Israel were seeking to commit genocide, it wouldn’t “maintain a dedicated staff of experts whose sole role is to deliver aid, despite themselves coming under attack” on October 7.

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