S.A refers Israel to ICC over Gaza ‘war crimes’

S.A refers Israel to ICC over Gaza ‘war crimes’

S.A refers Israel to ICC over Gaza ‘war crimes’

The International Crimihas been asked by South Africa to  look into claims of war crimes committed by Israel during its conflict with Hamas.

While on a state visit to Qatar, President Cyril Ramaphosa made the declaration and  claimed to have discussed the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza with the  country’s ruler.

“We both abhorred what is happening right now in Gaza, which has now turned into  a concentration camp where genocide is taking place,” he stated.

Ramaphosa said South Africa did not condone the actions taken by Hamas when the group launched a deadly attack on Israel last month killing more than 1,200 people and taking 240 hostages. However, he criticized the Israeli response, saying people were “dying like flies” in Gaza’s besieged hospitals.

“As South Africa, we have accordingly, together with many other countries in the world, saw it fit to refer this whole Israeli government action to the International Criminal Court,” he said.

Contacted by VOA, Israeli Ambassador Eliav Belotsercovsky would not comment. Mia Swart, a visiting professor at Witwatersrand University’s Law School specializing in international law, explained what’s likely to happen now.

“The ICC would most probably have to investigate what is being claimed here. It would be a drawn-out process,” she said.

Israel has always maintained it is acting in self-defense. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was taking “extraordinary efforts” to minimize civilian casualties.

South Africa is one of the most vocal international supporters of Palestinians. The governing African National Congress party has often drawn what it says are parallels between Black South Africans’ struggle against the racist white apartheid regime and the situation in the Middle East.

Party spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri said Thursday they would support an opposition motion in parliament calling for the closure of the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria.

“Given the current atrocities in occupied Palestine, the ANC will agree to a  parliamentary motion which calls upon the government to close the Israeli  Embassy in South  Africa and suspend all diplomatic relations with Israel,” she  stated.

Large-scale pro-Palestinian demonstrations have taken place in South African cities, and  counterprotesters have broken up a smaller pro-Israel march.

The Jewish Board of Deputies, a body that advocates for South Africa’s Jewish  population, claims that since the conflict began, antisemitism has dramatically  increased throughout the nation.

S.A refers Israel to ICC over Gaza ‘war crimes’

S.A refers Israel to ICC over Gaza ‘war crimes’

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