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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


WATCH: South Africa condemns Israeli attack on Rafah camp

The Rafah strike, which Gaza medics said left hundreds of civilians with shrapnel and burn wounds, drew condemnation from world leaders.


South Africa has joined the international community in condemning Israel’s attack on a tent camp housing displaced Palestinians in a designated safe zone in Rafah, adding that current conditions in Gaza justified its genocide case against Israel at the World Court.

Israel again bombarded Rafah area on Tuesday despite a global storm of outrage over a strike that set ablaze the crowded tent city, killing 45 people.

The strike, which Gaza medics said left hundreds of civilians with shrapnel and burn wounds, drew condemnation from world leaders.

Watch the foreign affairs minister of Spain, Ireland and Norway condemn Israel’s attack on Rafah

ALSO READ: ‘It’s shocking to see Israel has no compassion for human life’ − Pandor

Continuous attacks

The heinous attacks came two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to end its military offensive in Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million population had sought shelter before Israel’s incursion of Rafah.

The International Relations Department (Dirco)  said it is gravely concerned with the continuous targeting of hospitals, medical infrastructure, schools, and holy sites that are a source of shelter and protection for the civilian population who bear the brunt of the inhumane attacks.

“These continued attacks on innocent civilians pose an extreme risk to humanitarian supplies, basic services in Gaza, the survival of the Palestinian medical system, and the survival of Palestinians in Gaza as a group.

“The current conditions confirm that South Africa is justified for approaching the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2023, as a State Party to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide seeking an order to prevent Israel from committing genocide against the Palestinian people,” Dirco said.

Ceasefire  

It said “the pattern of cyclical escalation must be broken.”

“Our collective human duty to call for a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire cannot be ignored. As the international community, we must proceed together with due regard to International Law, International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, and relevant United Nations resolutions.

“We must pose the question of how long the international community will continue to watch as an entire population is annihilated before the world can unite to urgently act against these brutal and incessant attacks. Nothing can justify the deliberate killings and injuring of civilians as an entire population endures destruction at a scale and speed without parallel in modern history,” Dirco said.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the strike a “tragic accident” but also vowed to push on with the military campaign to destroy Hamas

Judges at the ICJ last week backed a South African request to order Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah, a week after Pretoria called for the measure in a case accusing Israel of genocide − an allegation Israel has denied.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ICJ orders Israel to immediately stop attacks in southern Gaza city of Rafah