South Africa has called for the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) to hold Israel accountable for violations of international criminal law as the Zionist regime presses ahead with its crimes against humanity in the besieged Gaza Strip.
"The murder of children, of women and the aged by Israel is an act that should have resulted in the International Criminal Court issuing an immediate arrest warrant for key decision makers including Mr. Netanyahu, who is responsible for violations of international criminal law," South Africa's International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said during her address to members of Parliament on Tuesday.
The South African minister also called for an immediate ceasefire in the besieged Palestinian territory which has been under brutal Israeli bombardment since October 7. Now the aparthied Israeli regime is preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza.
"This cannot be tolerated; this brutality should not be accepted. We must call for a ceasefire now as honorable members of the House of South Africa," Pandor said.
“As South Africans, we need to raise our voices and call for the following concrete actions to end the suffering. One, an immediate comprehensive ceasefire. Two, the opening of humanitarian corridors so that aid and other basic services reach all in need," she said.
The official also rebutted accusations of alleged bias in favor of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas: "It is untrue that South Africa has not criticized Hamas," Pandor said.
She noted that the South African president stated very clearly, in concert with the secretary general of the United Nations, that the killing of civilians is a violation of international human rights law.
The minister also reminded Israel of its responsibility as an occupying power.
“An occupying state cannot exercise control over territory it occupies, and simultaneously attack that territory on the claim that it is foreign and poses an exogenous national security threat,” Pandor said.
The South African minister also urged for a "reform of the system of global governance" that would "provide protection for the most vulnerable."
The remarks came one day after Pretoria recalled its diplomatic mission to Israel.
Pandor's call echoes those of Algeria's president or the prime minister of the Palestinian authority. On Monday, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune called on the ICC to take action to hold Israel accountable for the crimes it is committing against Palestinians in Gaza.
On that same day, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the ICC to issue arrest warrants for Israeli officials over the constant bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
On October 31st, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) filed a complaint for war crimes committed against Palestinian journalists in Gaza. The NGO said the reporters were "the victims of attacks amounting to war crimes justifying an investigation by the prosecutor" of the ICC.
ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan, who was on a mission to the region in late October said he had intensified his efforts to get into the region to meet with victims' families but had so far been unsuccessful.
Israel like the United States is not a member of the ICC. It refused to cooperate with the court in 2021 over the war crimes investigation into the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Palestinians in north Gaza need urgent humanitarian relief: ICRC
Regarding world leaders’ call for a “humanitarian pause”, ICRC spokesperson Alyona Synenko said Palestinians in Gaza “urgently need humanitarian assistance”.
“There are civilians in the north and in Gaza City. They are people who don’t have food, access to basic necessities and, most importantly, who can’t find any place to be safe. We can’t just ignore these people.
“They’re still there and they urgently need humanitarian assistance. Making sure there is humanitarian space so people can receive essential supplies is also an obligation under international humanitarian law.”
Meanwhile, on day 33 of the Israeli onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip the regime continues its relentless airstrikes and shelling. At least 100 Palestinians have been killed in the latest attacks in the besieged territory.
More than 10,500 Palestinians have lost their lives since Israel launched its war on Gaza. Most of the victims are women and children.
Israel keeps pounding almost all areas and facilities of the blockaded territory, including hospitals, schools and residential buildings.
Indonesia Hospital in the city of Beit Lahia has also come under attack. The regime has also continued firing flare bombs in the vicinity of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. There, a humanitarian convoy delivering medical supplies was attacked as well.
The Israeli regime is also pressing ahead with its ground offensive in Gaza, with the military saying its forces are now operating in the heart of Gaza City.