Minister Pandor says Israeli PM should be prosecuted at ICC

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International Relations and Cooperations Minister Naledi Pandor wants Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be criminally charged by the International Criminal Court. This follows Cabinet’s decision to withdraw its diplomats from Israel for consultation processes. However, Pandor is yet to indicate whether the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa will be expelled.

Pandor was delivering a Ministerial statement in the National Assembly on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war on Tuesday.

She says international law has been violated on both sides. With the taking of hostages by Hamas and the occupation of Palestine.

“The murder of children and the agent by Israel is an act that should have resulted in the international criminal court issuing an immediate arrest warrant for key decision makers including Mr Netanyahu who is responsible for violations of international criminal law.”

Pandor has reiterated the humanitarian aid corridors should be opened.

“All parties to restraint and desist from fuelling patently unjust war and human suffering including by ceasing the supplying of weapons to the various parties.. four the release of all civilian hostages. five in light of statements on the use of nuclear power and the establishment of a Middle East nuclear weapons-free zone just as we have created on our continent Africa.”

However, on the political front, political parties are divided on the issue of the recall of South Africa’s ambassador. Some say it’s a mistake.

DA MP Emma Powel says, “The minister’s recent telephone call to the leader of Hamas squandered any last resort prestige or credibility her department had left. The honourable minister’s recent visit to Iran to the President who is actively funding Hamas squandered any last remaining prestige and credibility the government had left.”

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa says, “Recalling or dismissing Ambassadors merely amounts to regressive diplomacy which in turn complicates negotiations. If South Africa wants to be a trusted mediator and committed to reaching a negotiated peace, all parties in the conflict must be treated in the same way.”

FF Plus Dr Corne Mulder says, “You have now recalled our ambassadorial staff in Israel and you said it’s for consultation purposes, it’s not for consultation purposes. You can take the telephone and consult, you can take a Zoom call and consult, you withdraw those people and send a message to Israel and the message to your supporters as well.”

ACDP MP Wayne Thring says, “The recalling of South Africa’s diplomats in Israel will not serve any benefit to the Palestinian people. it simply removes South Africa’s ability and authority to play a mediated role in any future negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.”

Others want even more to be done.

Chairperson of International Relations and Cooperations Committee Supra Mahumapelo says, “The UN must decisively act against the state of Israel. as the minister has said the ICC must charge Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

EFF MP Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi asks, “Why are you recalling people for consultation because you have already declared there is a genocide. Why are we friends with people violating the values of our Constitution? Why are we friends with people who are massacring children in hospitals and schools… what must happen? what must be said before the whole world isolates Israel.”

Meanwhile, the National Assembly has also paid its respects to the late IFP leader Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and late NFP MP Mzwakhe Sibisi.