Netanyahu instructs cabinet members to refrain from responding to ICJ ruling, to no avail

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders members of his cabinet to refrain from responding to the International Court of Justice’s provisional ruling in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel.

According to national broadcaster Kan, Netanyahu, via National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, instructed government ministers to hold off on any public statements before the release of an official government position on the matter.

While the court declined to order Israel to halt its military operation in the Gaza Strip, its ruling does call on Jerusalem to take measures to prevent the commission of genocidal acts against Palestinians.

Despite Netanyahu’s order, Negev, Galilee and National Resilience Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, both members of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, condemned the court on Friday.

Ben Gvir, whose rhetoric regarding the Palestinians was raised by South Africa to bolster its genocide claims against Israel, dismissed the court as “antisemitic,” declaring that its decision proves that the “court does not seek justice, but rather the persecution of Jewish people.”

“Never Again,” Wasserlauf tweeted in English, alongside an Israeli flag emoji.

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