The German government rejects allegations of “genocide” in Gaza, stating that Israel is defending itself against attacks by Hamas. They also warn against the “political instrumentalization” of such charges.
“In light of German history and the crimes against humanity of the Shoah, the German government is particularly committed to the (UN) Genocide Convention,” signed in 1948 in the wake of the Holocaust, Hebestreit said.
He said the Convention marked a “central instrument” under international law to prevent another Holocaust.
For this reason, he said, “We stand firmly against a political instrumentalisation” of the Convention.
Hebestreit recognized varying opinions within the international community regarding Israel’s military actions in Gaza.
“However the German government decisively and expressly rejects the accusation of genocide brought against Israel before the International Court of Justice,” he said.
“The accusation has no basis in fact.”
He stated that Germany would invoke a third-party intervention at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) using an article that allows states to seek clarification on the use of a multilateral convention.
South Africa has initiated an urgent case at the ICJ, claiming that Israel violates the UN Genocide Convention. Pretoria seeks a court order to immediately halt the Gaza campaign initiated after the October 7 Hamas attacks, resulting in 1,140 deaths according to AFP. Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry reports at least 23,469 casualties, primarily women and children.
Despite the case being dismissed by Israel and the United States as groundless, Germany, acknowledging its historical responsibility for the Holocaust, deems the defense of Israel fundamental to its foreign policy. However, Berlin has become increasingly critical of Israel’s Gaza campaign, with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock emphasizing the need for less intensive combat and increased humanitarian aid.
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