South Africa has called for the issuance of an international arrest warrant against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Israeli occupation’s crimes in Gaza.
The South African Minister of International Relations, Naledi Pandor, made this call to parliament on Tuesday, stating that the killing of children, women, and the elderly by Israel is an act that should have led to the International Criminal Court issuing immediate arrest warrants for key decision-makers, including Benjamin Netanyahu, who is responsible for violations of international law.
She added that the conflict can only be resolved through the establishment of two states, where Palestine and Israel coexist peacefully.
The death toll and injuries among Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank as a result of the ongoing aggression have risen to 10,468 martyrs and over 27,000 wounded, according to the latest statistics from the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
South Africa has been supporting Palestine since the outbreak of the war in Gaza on October 7.
Pandor stated that her country joined the world in expressing horror at the war crimes being committed in Palestine, which target civilians, public infrastructure, UN buildings, and other vulnerable targets.
She continued, “These actions remind us of our experience as black citizens in South Africa living under apartheid. This is one of the main reasons why South African citizens and black people worldwide have taken to the streets to express their anger and concern about what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank.”
Pandor emphasized that “the daily actions we witness by Israel constitute a violation of international law, including the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention, and all of its protocols.”
At the beginning of the war, the international organization Human Rights Watch called for the International Criminal Court to take note of statements made by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant regarding the imposition of a siege on Gaza, stating that it amounts to a call to commit a war crime.
South Africa was among the two-thirds of UN member states that called for an immediate ceasefire in the UN General Assembly.
Pandor said, “This General Assembly decision was ignored,” adding, “It was impossible for South Africa to continue to declare the importance of international law and the UN Charter in some cases but not in others, as if the rule of law only applied to a select few.”
Pandor stated that “Israel is an occupying power recognized as such by the International Court of Justice and the United Nations,” noting that “the idea of Israel’s right to defend itself by military means has been used incorrectly in international law by many and intentionally by others to justify Israel’s unlawful use of force against the Palestinian people and the West Bank.”
Pandor expressed regret that “genocide is looming large in the current situation in Gaza” and called for “peace talks facilitated by the United Nations.”