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Germany rejects UN Gaza genocide charge against Israel


United Nations

The German government rejected accusations made at the UN’s top court that Israel is engaging in “genocide” in Gaza, emphasizing its commitment to the UN Genocide Convention. 

Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit stated that Israel was “defending itself” following “inhuman” attacks by Hamas on October 7 as reported by AFP. 

He noted Germany’s historical responsibility and commitment to preventing crimes against humanity, stating, “In light of German history and the crimes against humanity of the Shoah, the German government is particularly committed to the (UN) Genocide Convention.”

Hebestreit cautioned against the “political instrumentalisation” of the genocide charge, asserting, “We stand firmly against a political instrumentalisation” of the Convention. 

While acknowledging divergent views on Israel’s military operation in Gaza, Hebestreit declared, “However, the German government decisively and expressly rejects the accusation of genocide brought against Israel before the International Court of Justice.”

In response to South Africa’s case at the ICJ, alleging Israel’s breach of the UN Genocide Convention, Germany plans to intervene as a third party. 

Hebestreit clarified, “The accusation has no basis in fact.” 

South Africa’s legal action seeks to compel Israel to immediately cease its Gaza campaign initiated after the October 7 Hamas attacks, resulting in a reported 1,140 deaths based on Israeli figures.

Germany, cognizant of its historical responsibility for the Holocaust, has consistently identified the defense of Israel as a cornerstone of its foreign policy. 

However, Berlin has become more 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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