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South Africa says all states must stop funding Israel's military

January 31, 2024 at 2:52 pm

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa Naledi Pandor makes statements to press members after attending a session on the day the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rule on Gaza genocide case against Israel made by South Africa in the Hague, the Netherlands on January 26, 2024. [Selman Aksünger – Anadolu Agency]

All states have an obligation to stop funding and facilitating Israel’s military actions in Gaza after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) made clear that those actions could be genocidal, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said on Wednesday.

The ICJ last week ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide and take steps to improve the humanitarian situation of Palestinians in Gaza, in a case brought by South Africa. The court stopped short of demanding a ceasefire and has not yet ruled on the core of South Africa’s case, whether genocide has occurred in Gaza. That ruling could take years, reported Reuters.

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, even though major human rights organisations have determined that it has passed the threshold to be described as an apartheid state, including B’Tselem, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

“The finding [by the ICJ] we think makes it clear that it is plausible that genocide is taking place against the Palestinian people in Gaza,” Pandor told reporters. “This necessarily imposes an obligation on all states to cease funding and facilitating Israel’s military actions.”

Responding to the ICJ ruling last week, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa hailed it as a step towards justice and said that he expected Israel to abide by it.

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