Netanyahu pledges to defy International Court of Justice as Gaza death toll mounts

In a speech Saturday marking 100 days of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the massacre in defiance of international law.

“We will restore security to both the south and the north,” Netanyahu vowed. “No one will stop us—not The Hague, not the axis of evil, and not anyone else.”

Netanyahu pledged “to fight on to the end—until complete victory.” He continued, adding, “We will not stop until we achieve victory.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, speaks with Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich during the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday Jan. 7, 2024. [AP Photo/Ronen Zvulun]

Netanyahu angrily denounced the genocide case against Israel brought before the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands, by South Africa.

He called the case a “hypocritical attack in The Hague on the Jewish state that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust,” and “a moral low in the history of nations.” He vowed, “This international defamation campaign will not weaken our hands or weaken our determination to fight to the end.”

In the most explicit terms to date, Netanyahu sought to directly implicate the United States in the war crimes of the Israeli military, saying that he told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that “this is not only our war, this is also your war.”

Indeed, the genocide in Gaza is “America’s war.” The United States has provided over 10,000 tons of military equipment to Israel since October 7, transported in 244 cargo plane flights and over 20 ships.

On January 12, the New York Times reported that the Central Intelligence Agency is collecting “information on senior Hamas leaders” and relaying it to Israel, meaning the United States is providing targeting information for Israeli strikes that have to date killed over 30,000 civilians in Gaza.

Last week, the US massively expanded its involvement in the war throughout the Middle East, striking over 30 sites in Yemen on Thursday, followed by more strikes on Friday.

In his own statement marking the 100th day of the war, President Joe Biden did not mention, much less express sympathy with, the Gazans who have been killed or the 1.9 million Gazans who are facing starvation and displacement. Instead, the entirety of the three-paragraph statement was directed toward Israelis held hostage by Hamas, whose captivity the Netanyahu regime is using as a pretext to carry out its genocide.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed these statements, declaring, “The United States will not rest until all remaining hostages, including six Americans, are reunited with their loved ones.”

In its statement marking the 100th day of the attack, the Euro-Med monitor reported that approximately 100,000 Gazans have been killed, reported missing or wounded since October 7.

A Palestinian looks at the destruction after Israel bombs a residential building in Deir al Balah, Gaza Strip, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. [AP Photo/Adel Hana]

It noted that 31,497 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been killed to date by Israeli bombings. It estimated that a staggering 28,961, or 92 percent, were civilians “including 12,345 children, 6,471 women, 295 health personnel, 41 civil defense personnel, and 113 journalists.”

These statistics include both those whose bodies have been identified and over 7,000 people who have been missing for more than 14 days and are presumed dead. The monitor noted that “Hundreds of bodies that cannot be recovered due to the ongoing Israeli violence remain on the roads... particularly in areas where Israel’s army has conducted ground incursions.”

A further 1.955 million Palestinians, approximately 85 percent of the total population of the Strip, have been displaced from their homes.

Nearly 70,000 housing units have been completely destroyed, and a further 187,300 units have been damaged. These include “320 schools; 1,671 industrial facilities; 183 health facilities, including 23 hospitals, 59 clinics and 92 ambulances; 239 mosques; three churches; and 170 press offices.”

Summarizing the massive level of destruction, Euro-Med reported that “Israel is deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure in order to cause as many casualties, material losses, and as much general destruction as possible as a form of retaliation and collective punishment. This is against international humanitarian law, the 1949 Geneva Convention, and amounts to war crimes according to the Rome Statute, which governs the International Criminal Court.”

In its update on the state of the offensive, the United Nations wrote: “One hundred days into the conflict, intense Israeli bombardments from air, land, and sea continued across much of the Gaza Strip on 14 January, resulting in further civilian casualties and destruction.”

In a statement on Sunday, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini declared, “The crisis in Gaza is a man-made disaster compounded by dehumanizing language and the use of food, water, and fuel as instruments of war.”

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Lazzarini continued, “Whenever you go to a school, the kids are looking at your eyes begging for a sip of water or a loaf of bread... This 100 days feels to be an eternity.”