Israel-Palestine Escalation
Israel was hit by an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on October 7, with Hamas movement's troops infiltrating border areas. On October 8, the Israeli government announced that it had invoked Article 40 of the Basic Law, which means the country was officially in a state of war.

ICJ Gaza Genocide Case Helped South Africa Expose UNSC's Inability to Ensure Peace, Pandor Says

© Sputnik . Grigory Sysoev / Go to the mediabankSouth African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor before the meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers in Nizhny Novgorod.
South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor before the meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers in Nizhny Novgorod. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.06.2024
South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor took part in the meeting of the foreign ministers of the BRICS member countries in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, where she discussed a wide range of issues with colleagues from the bloc.
In the ongoing case of South Africa v. Israel against the latter's actions in the Gaza Strip, the International Court of Justice has helped Pretoria expose the inadequacy of the United Nations Security Council in its ability to enforce peace and security, as well as the UN's failure to ensure that "innocent people are protected," South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, told Sputnik Africa in an interview on Monday.
"Can the court help us to stop [the purported genocide in Gaza]? And what the court has done is help us to expose the inadequacy of the United Nations Security Council in the ability to enforce peace and security, but also the failures of the United Nations to ensure that innocent people are protected," she said. "So it's been a very important experience."
According to Pandor, the reason Pretoria has gone to court "very early on" after Israel began its military operation in the Gaza Strip is that "it doesn't make sense" to be upset about genocide after people have already been murdered.

"We should stop the slaughter and not let it happen, and then we say, 'oh, this was genocide; we're so sorry. We didn't act.' We must act before harm is done. So South Africa went to the court very early on to say something bad is happening here," the top diplomat explained.

Speaking of the growing international support for South Africa's cause against the Jewish State and its actions towards the Palestinian people, the minister expressed hope that all nations around the globe will back the case because it concerns humanity and human rights.

"If you are watching on the screen Palestinian children being murdered and you are not moved, you're a very cruel person," she pondered. "So all of us in the world should be backing the International Court of Justice case of South Africa because it is a case about saving human lives."

A view of the Peace Palace, which houses the International Court of Justice, or World Court, in The Hague, Netherlands, on Jan. 26, 2024. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.05.2024
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"But I say that with pain in my heart because thousands of women, children, and men have been murdered. And what we need to do as the global community is ensure that we stop such things from happening. And I think we have enough world power to be able to stop it," the minister added.
Sputnik Africa also discussed with the minister the unprecedented political pressure from the West, and primarily the United States, on Pretoria because of the country’s balanced political position in the international arena on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the condemnation of Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip.
Washington lawmakers even proposed to reconsider the level of relations with the southern African country, threatening sanctions, among other things.

"Well, there have been threats," the minister admitted. "As you might be aware, there is a piece of legislation proposed in the House of Congress of the United States which seeks to punish South Africa for the steps it has taken in support of the people of Palestine.

According to her, the situation could be described as the "most unfortunate," given that "the individuals that are moving this legislation are the very individuals who lecture Africa about human rights, but today they are not giving recognition to the human rights of Palestinians."

"So we are saying to them what we are doing is calling for respect for international law, respect for human rights, respect for international humanitarian law. We're not against America. We're not against Europe," she stressed.

South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, right, accompanied by Secretary of State Antony Blinken - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 12.02.2024
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South Africa stands for "the reduction of harm" to the Palestinians, and be firm on that path since one cannot forget about humanity.

"We are for the reduction of harm of Palestinian people, and South Africa must continue to make this case unafraid because if we said we must look to the economy, and you forget about human beings, why do we exist?" Pandor wondered.

On Thursday, Spain became the first nation in Europe to request permission from a United Nations court to join South Africa's lawsuit against Israel for allegedly committing genocide in Gaza.
In late April, Pandor said that the situation in the Gaza Strip is worse than what the South African population faced during apartheid. Pandor also stated that South Africa had filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court, but no arrest warrant had been issued for the Israeli leaders.
In December of last year, South Africa submitted its case to the International Court of Justice. It claimed that Israel's military assault, which has destroyed vast areas of Gaza, violates the genocide convention.
The court did not order a cease-fire for the enclave, but it did order Israel to immediately stop its military offensive in the southern Gaza сity of Rafah. Israel has not complied and does not appear to be about to do so.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks during the Leaders Dialogue with BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank, at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 25.05.2024
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On October 7, 2023, Israel was subjected to an unprecedented rocket attack from the Gaza Strip. After this, militants from the Palestinian Hamas movement entered the border areas, opened fire on military and civilians, and took more than 200 hostages.
The Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Iron Swords in the Gaza Strip, which included attacks on civilian targets. Israel announced a complete blockade of the enclave; supplies of water, electricity, fuel, food, and medicine were stopped. Over 37,000 people have been killed so far by Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip, according to local authorities.