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By Kyle Zeeman

Deputy Digital Editor


CONFIRMED! SA to approach UN Security Council after ICJ’s Israel ruling

President Ramaphosa has confirmed SA's next step in ending alleged genocide in Gaza.


President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that SA will approach the United Nations Security Council to intervene in Gaza, as fighting in the region continues despite a International Court of Justice ruling.

The court, sitting in The Hague, on Friday ruled in favour of South Africa and ordered Israel to limit harm to Palestinians in the region. It also ordered a report from Israel on steps it had taken within a month.

Israeli forces continued to conduct attacks in the area over the weekend, seemingly in defiance of the order.

ALSO READ: Why the ICJ decision is not a victory for South Africa yet

Speaking at the closing of the ANC’s National Executive Committee and start of its Lekgotla on Monday, Ramaphosa said SA would now approach the United Nations Security Council.

“The next step will see us turning to the structures meant to oversee this [the court’s orders] , starting with the United Nations Security Council and other agencies.”

He repeated his call for the Council’s reform and said the country will now look for support from other nations.

“It must become a forum where all have an equal voice. Where the interests of all have equal weight.”

“Our work to stop genocide in Palestine will therefore not just continue in the International Court of Justice, where we are now preparing the case on the merits to show proof of genocide, it must and will continue on the political front at the UN and seeking practical support.

A dangerous precedent

Speaking moments after the court’s ruling, SA’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor said she hoped Israel’s “powerful friends” would advise it to follow the court’s instructions.

ALSO READ: ICJ sides with SA, tells Israel to prevent genocide in Gaza

She added should Israel ignore the ruling, “we are, essentially, opening room for all abusers in many conflicts around the world. It will be setting a terrible precedent”.

The court did not rule on whether genocide had taken place in the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, but said there was evidence of it being possible.

Pandor suggested that if the court finds Israel had committed genocide in Gaza, countries who provided it with support and weapons would also have to answer.

“The fact that the court has said ‘remember, today we are not deciding about the allegation of genocide. What we are dealing with is the provisional measures’. The court is saying circumstances exist where it is plausible that genocidal acts have been committed.

“This of course means once the merit case is addressed, and if the finding is that there has been genocide, those states that have aided and abetted become a party to commission of an infringement, in terms of the [genocide] convention”.

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