The UN court misinterpreted my comments in the genocide ruling: the President of Israel

Israeli President Isaac Herzog

Israel’s president on Sunday accused the UN world court of misinterpreting his words in a ruling ordering Israel to take steps to protect Palestinians and prevent a genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Friday’s court ruling cited a series of statements by Israeli leaders as evidence of incitement and dehumanizing language against Palestinians. They include comments from President Isaac Herzog just days after Hamas’ cross-border attack on October 7, which sparked Israel’s war against the Islamist militant group.

Hamas militants killed about 1,200 people and took about 250 others hostage in that attack. The Israeli offensive has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians, displaced more than 80 percent of Gaza residents and created a humanitarian crisis in the area.

Speaking about the Palestinians in Gaza at an Oct. 12 news conference, Herzog said an entire nation was responsible for the massacre, the International Court of Justice report said.

But Herzog said it ignored other comments at the same news conference in which he said there was no excuse for killing innocent civilians, and that Israel would respect the international laws of war.

“I was disgusted by the way they twisted my words, using very, very partial and fragmented quotes, with the intention of supporting an unsubstantiated legal claim,” Herzog said on Sunday.

In its ruling, the court did not order an end to the Israeli military offensive. But it ordered Israel to do everything possible to prevent death, destruction and genocide in Gaza and issued a series of orders to Israel, including ending the incitement and submitting a progress report to the court within a month.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

First print: January 29, 2024 | 6:51 am IST