South Africa Refers Israel to ICC for War Crimes Investigation

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Kremlin, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The South African government wants the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel for war crimes committed in its ongoing assault on the Gaza Strip. 

Cyril Ramaphosa, the SA president, told a press conference in Doha on Wednesday that “Gaza has now turned into a concentration camp where genocide is taking place”.

“As South Africa we have accordingly, together with many other countries in the world, saw fit to refer this whole Israeli government action to the ICC. We have put through a referral because we believe that war crimes are being committed there,” he said.

Ramaphosa said his government is opposed to the ongoing operation, “particularly as it is now targeting hospitals where babies, women and the injured are dying… And where care of life has been completely ignored.”

He added that, “We join many other countries and organizations that is calling upon the ICC to investigate what is happening. And as it is unfolding before our eyes, we can see a war crime is underway, particularly at Al-Shifa hospital.”

Ramaphosa stressed that there is “a need for the whole world to rise and call upon the Israeli government to cease fire, to stop what is happening, and we want the ICC to investigate, and of course, legal measures then need to be taken at a global level.”

He said it was “totally unacceptable” that Israel “had become a law unto themselves.”

“The Israeli government has perfected the way it does not follow decisions that are taken at the UN or any other world forum.”

A debate will take place in the South African parliament on Thursday on whether the Israeli embassy should be shut down and whether diplomatic relations should be suspended with Tel Aviv.  

The South African government recently recalled all its diplomatic staff from Tel Aviv, and issued a demarche to the Israeli ambassador to the country, citing statements he made about South Africans’ support for Palestinians.

Regular mass protests have been held in the country, with the biggest that took place last Saturday in Cape Town, attended by an estimated 100,000 people. 

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israel has, thus far, killed over 11,500 Palestinians, including 4,710 children.

The Israeli army continues to pound civilian homes throughout the Gaza Strip with new massacres reported everywhere in the besieged enclave.

Gaza has been under a tight Israeli military siege since 2007, following a democratic election in occupied Palestine, the results of which were rejected by Tel Aviv and Washington.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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1 Comment

  1. Bravo to South Africa
    Shame on other African states that collude with their imperialist masters

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