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South Africa condemns Israel over deaths of Palestinians awaiting aid

March 1, 2024 at 4:14 pm

Injured Palestinians receive medical treatment in Al-Shifa Hospital after Israeli forces open fire on Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid trucks at Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City, Gaza on February 29, 2024 [Dawoud Abo Alkas/Anadolu Agency]

South Africa said, on Friday, the killing of Palestinians awaiting aid in Gaza breached the World Court’s provisional orders in a legal case in which Pretoria has accused Israel of committing genocide in the coastal enclave, Reuters reports.

Gaza health authorities said, on Thursday, Israeli forces had killed over 100 Palestinians trying to reach a relief convoy.

Israel blamed most of the deaths on crowds that swarmed around aid trucks, saying most victims were trampled or run over, though an Israeli official said Israeli troops had “in a limited response” later fired on crowds they felt posed a threat.

“South Africa condemns the massacre of 112 Palestinians and the injury of hundreds more as they sought life-saving aid,” South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

“This latest atrocity is another breach of international law and in breach of the binding provisional orders of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”

In a case brought by South Africa, the ICJ in January ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza and to report back on what steps it was taking in a month’s time.

Israel has denied allegations of genocide and said it has the right to defend itself.

The South African statement said Israel had submitted a report to the ICJ, which Pretoria was preparing a response to.

“An immediate and unconditional call for a ceasefire is now a moral and life-saving necessity,” it said.

READ: Pressure mounts for inquiry into Israel troops firing on Gazans waiting for aid