Namibia criticises German support for Israel over ICJ genocide case

Namibia has condemned former colonial ruler, Germany, for rejecting a case at the UN’s top court accus­ing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza.

Germany has offered to in­tervene on Israel’s behalf in the case brought by South Africa at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.

President Hage Geingob urged Germany to “reconsider its un­timely decision to intervene as a third-party in defence”.

In 2021, Berlin acknowledged committing genocide in Namibia.

German colonisers massacred more than 70,000 Herero and Nama people between 1904 and 1908. Historians consider this to be the 20th Century’s first geno­cide.

President Gein­gob said Germany could not “morally express commit­ment to the United Nations Convention against genocide, including atonement for the genocide in Namibia” and at the same time support Israel.

“The German Government is yet to fully atone for the genocide it com­mitted on Namibian soil,” he added.

On Friday, the German govern­ment said the accusation of geno­cide against Israel was completely unfounded and amounted to a “political instrumentalisation” of the UN genocide convention.

“In view of Germany’s history and the crime against humanity of the Holocaust, the government sees itself as particularly commit­ted to the genocide convention,” it said.

It said Hamas – which attacked Israel on October 7, triggering the current war – aimed to destroy Israel, which was acting in self defence.

Hamas killed about 1,300 peo­ple, most of them civilians, and took about 240 others hostage on October 7.

Since then Israel has killed nearly 24,000 people, mostly chil­dren and women, in its retaliatory attacks on Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. The UN and humanitarian organi­sations have warned of the risk of famine in Gaza as well as the spread of disease among displaced people and have urged that more aid be allowed into the territory.