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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

WATCH: ‘SA had warned Israel’s war in Gaza would escalate’ – Ramaphosa (VIDEO)

Iran said it carried out the attack in response to an Israeli raid on the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria on 1 April.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said Iran’s attack on Israel happened because of the failure to handle the war between Israel and Palestine and that South Africa had warned against escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Iran launched more than 300 drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles from Iran, Iraq and Yemen on Saturday night, with Israel claiming that the majority of them were intercepted.

Tehran said it carried out the attack in response to an Israeli raid on the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria, on 1 April.

It said the matter can now “be deemed concluded.”

Watch Ramaphosa speak about Iran’s attack on Israel

ALSO READ: Iran warns it will strike with greater force if Israel or US retaliate

Worst fears

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the ANC’s election campaign in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg, Ramaphosa said his worst fears about the conflict in the Middle East spilling over to other regions have been realised.

“We did warn at a very early stage that unless the challenges and the war between Israel and Palestine in Gaza is handled with care and with great wisdom to ensure that there is a ceasefire and humanitarian assistance, the war would soon escalate beyond the borders of Israel, and it would engulf countries in the Middle East.”

Meanwhile, the International Relations department said government is concerned at developments in the Middle East following the retaliatory action by Iran.

“As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres has stated, there is a “very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. In this context, South Africa emphasises that all parties must exercise the utmost restraint and avoid any act that would escalate tensions in a particularly fragile region.

“South Africa has continuously stressed that irrespective of whether states believe that their use of force is lawful, it is never wise to resort to war as inevitably, it is ordinary people who bear the brunt of conflict,” Dirco said.

Gaza war

Dirco also remined South Africans that the war in Gaza continues with devastating humanitarian consequences for Palestinians. 

“An immediate ceasefire and urgent humanitarian access are required.”

Dirco said  the “proliferation of global conflicts will continue if we, as the international community, do not commit ourselves to the ending of war and the establishment of conditions under which justice and respect for international law are maintained.”

“As long as there is impunity for unlawful acts, war and injustice will continue,” Dirco said.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘ICC should’ve issued warrant of arrest for Netanyahu’ − Pandor

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