Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor briefing the media in Pretoria says the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued crucial measures against Israel to stop the killings in Palestine.
South Africa dragged Israel to the world court in an effort to get a ceasefire in Gaza.
Pandor says the South African Cabinet is of the view that Israel has violated its obligations under the genocide convention. She says South Africa will do all its power to ensure the implementation of the court’s order.
Pandor added that all states have an obligation to stop funding and facilitating Israel’s military actions in Gaza after the World Court made clear those actions could be genocidal.
South Africa has for decades been an advocate for the Palestinian cause, comparing the plight of Palestinians to that of Black South Africans under apartheid. Israel has denied allegations of genocide and rejects the comparison to the apartheid era.
Pandor also said she had met the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week to discuss a joint referral South Africa made in November with other countries about the situation in the Palestinian territories.
“I asked him why he was able to issue an arrest warrant for Mr Putin and is unable to do so for the prime minister of Israel. He … did not answer that question. But I read into some of what he said that the investigations are still under way,” Pandor told reporters.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in March, accusing him of overseeing the illegal deportation of children from Ukraine.
Russia, like Israel, does not recognise the ICC’s jurisdiction, and has rejected its allegations.
Pandor said the ICJ ruling “makes it clear that it is plausible that genocide is taking place against the Palestinian people in Gaza. This necessarily imposes an obligation on all states to cease funding and facilitating Israel’s military actions.” – additional reporting by Reuters