Israeli-Hamas war to top BRICS virtual gathering

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The war between Israel and Hamas will top the agenda of the BRICS virtual gathering, which President Cyril Ramaphosa will oversee today, in his capacity as the bloc’s chairperson.

Leaders of BRICS member states Brazil, Russia, India and China and invited representatives from Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the UAE will also take part in the bloc’s discussions.

The South African government has been vocal about the current humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza as Israel continues to bombard the enclave.

Ramaphosa will deliver the opening remarks at the BRICS extraordinary meeting, where members and invited states will also deliver country statements on the Gaza crisis.

VIDEO |BRICS leaders to converge over the Middle East war:

In his weekly letter to the nation, Ramaphosa called for solidarity, tolerance and dialogue between Israel and Hamas.

“More than 60% of the people killed in Gaza are reported to be women and children. As the bombardment of Gaza continues, there have been pro-Palestinian demonstrations around the world, as well as those expressing solidarity with Israel. There have been a number of such events in our own country, convened by civil society organisations, political parties and religious groupings. What is happening in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank provokes strong emotions,” Ramaphosa added.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will participate in the virtual session, at the end of which leaders are expected to adopt a joint statement on the situation in the Middle East with particular reference to Gaza.

Related video: South African government joins the world to condemn the violence: