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World must do more to end Palestinians' persecution: South Africa

May 12, 2024 at 9:42 am

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during a press conference at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on December 18, 2023 [ROBERTA CIUCCIO/AFP via Getty Images]

South Africa on Saturday called on the international community, including Israel’s allies, not to turn a blind eye to the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The gross human rights violations perpetrated by Israel have scaled to incomprehensible levels of cruelty, hate and extreme violent oppression. The world must do more to end the persecution of Palestinians, including that of many innocent women and children,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.

Ramaphosa said his country on Friday returned to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to seek an urgent order to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza from grave and irreparable violations of their rights under the Genocide Convention as a result of Israel’s ongoing military assault on Rafah.

Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, is home to 1.5 million displaced Palestinians who sought refuge after Israeli forces intensified their attacks on Gaza.

Late last year, South Africa reported Israel to the top UN court, where it currently stands accused of genocide.

READ: South Africa asks World Court to order Israel withdrawal from Rafah

In January, an interim ruling said it is “plausible” that Tel Aviv is committing genocide in the coastal enclave, and ordered Tel Aviv to cease such acts and take measures to ensure that civilians receive humanitarian assistance.The South African leader said their latest urgent application to the ICJ follows Israel’s escalation of its assault on Rafah, which has worsened the situation and caused irreparable harm to Palestinians’ rights in Gaza.

South Africa said previous provisional measures imposed by the ICJ on Israel are not being implemented, and that the situation has changed significantly since the court’s last order on March 28.

Ramaphosa said his country continues to believe that a permanent cease-fire in Gaza is required for the court’s provisional measures to be effectively implemented.

He added that his country is greatly encouraged by the protests of university students in the US and other parts of the world.

“We are also greatly encouraged by the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly draft resolution that recommends to the Security Council to reconsider favorably the application by the State of Palestine for full membership of the United Nations,” he said.

READ: Israel whistleblowers reveal torture, abuse of Palestinian detainees at desert facility