Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

South Africa has expressed satisfaction with the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) recent decision ordering Israel to halt its military offensive in Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip. The ruling comes in response to an appeal made by several countries regarding the ongoing conflict.

Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, speaking to the State Broadcaster SABC on Friday, emphasized the importance of the ICJ’s ruling.

“We are pleased that the court has given very serious consideration to the matters that we put before it and has affirmed that an urgent decision is needed from the court to pause this onslaught against innocent Palestinians,” she stated.

Pandor criticized Israel for its long-standing impunity and highlighted the responsibility of the United Nations, particularly the UN Security Council, which she said must take measures to protect the Palestinian people.

“I think responsibility goes to us as member states of the UN and most particularly to the UN Security Council because it’s the one that has responsibility for global peace and security,” she added.

The Foreign Minister described the ruling as a clear call for a cessation of the violence in Rafah. “We are all fearful. We are seeing the horror unfold and something needs to be done. We cannot only rely on those who are the executioners of this ongoing onslaught to be the ones to stop it,” Pandor noted, indicating a need for international intervention.

Additionally, she remarked on a global shift in perspective regarding the Palestinian situation, with more countries, especially from the northern hemisphere, beginning to condemn Israel’s actions and recognizing Palestine.

Zane Dangor, Foreign Ministry Director-General, also welcomed the ICJ’s decision, noting its historic nature. “This order is groundbreaking as it is the first time that explicit mention is made for Israel to halt its military action in any area of Rafah. South Africa welcomes the ruling made by the court today,” said Dangor.

He further appreciated the court’s directive that allows UN-appointed investigators access to Gaza to probe actions potentially amounting to genocide. “This is important because it allows for independent researchers to go into areas that journalists have been prohibited from…allows us engaged in the legal action to have independent verified UN experts doing a lot of the investigations,’’ Dangor explained.

Dangor disclosed that South Africa plans to approach the Security Council to ensure the implementation of this provision, emphasizing the binding nature of the ICJ’s orders which Israel must adhere to.

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