‘Israeli Agents Seek to Intimidate’ – South Africa’s Minister Pandor on Israeli Threats

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

South Africa’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor has her security beefed up after Israeli threats and intimidation. 

South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor has shared that Israeli intelligence has been trying to intimidate her as well as her family following South Africa’s case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Israel for alleged genocide. 

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Pandor said she had spoken to the National Police Minister, Bheki Cele, about extra security after she received “various messages.”

Pandor said she was particularly concerned for the safety of her family after having been targeted on social media. 

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“I felt that it would be better if we had extra security. But what I’m more concerned about is my family, because in some of the social media messages my children are mentioned and so on, but this is par for the course.”

She however stressed that she would not be intimated. 

“The Israeli agents, the intelligence services, this is how they behave, and they seek to intimidate you, so we must not be intimidated. There is a cause that is under way.”

Important Moral Course

Pandor explained that the people of the world and Palestine “didn’t draw back when the apartheid state (of South Africa) was at its worst.”

“They stood with the liberation movement, so we can’t stand back now. We must be with them. And I think one of the things we must not allow is a failure of courage,” she stressed. 

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“It’s extremely important that we continue with this. We talked to the South African people; they understand why it is we have taken up this moral  course,” she added.

Last month, the ICJ ordered six provisional measures to be taken by Israel, including measures to be implemented to prevent and punish direct incitement of genocide in its ongoing war in Gaza, and to allow the entry of humanitarian aid.

This follows the case brought by the South African government accusing Israel of “genocidal acts” in its military assault on Gaza.

South Africans in Israeli Army Face Prosecution

On Sunday, Minister Pandor reiterated the South African government stance on citizens who risk prosecution for fighting in foreign conflicts.

Pandor said, “There is a law which prohibits South Africans from engaging in a conflict in another country with forces that are against citizens of another state.”

“And I alerted South Africans that are conducting themselves in that way that it is the intention of the Justice Department that action will be taken in terms of the act that prohibits South Africans from participating in mercenary activity,” she explained.

South Africans Face Prosecution for Joining Israeli Army

Adding “Because to conduct ourselves in that way is to become a mercenary. So the government must identify these people and actually take action.”

In a statement issued in December, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said it was “gravely concerned by reports that some South African citizens and permanent residents have joined or considering joining the IDF in the war on Gaza and in the other Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Spokesperson for DIRCO, Clayson Monyela, told the Palestine Chronicle at the time that the government was aware of South Africans who have joined the occupation forces “taking videos of themselves and putting it on social media.”

Death Toll Rising

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 27,947 Palestinians have been killed, and 67,459 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 8,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

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Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all of the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(Palestine Chronicle)

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