South Africa’s Govt Hails World Court Ruling On Israel’s Rafah Assault

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South Africa’s government on Friday hailed the ruling by the World Court that ordered Israel to halt its military assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Judges at the International Court of Justice earlier on Friday 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.

“This order is ground-breaking as it is the first time that explicit mention is made for Israel to halt its military action in any area of Gaza,” Zane Dangor, director-general of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, said in a video clip shared by the department.

While welcoming the court’s ruling, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said South Africa remained concerned that the United Nations Security Council had not succeeded in stopping the human suffering in Gaza.

“This case is focused on the ordinary Palestinians in Gaza who are now facing their seventh month of suffering through collective punishment for something for which they have no individual responsibility,” he said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office rejected South Africa’s allegations on Friday, calling them false and outrageous.

Israel has repeatedly dismissed the case’s accusations of genocide as baseless, arguing in court that its operations in Gaza are self-defence and targeted at Hamas militants who attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

Dangor said South Africa would approach the UN Security Council with the issue of the court ordering Israel to allow access to investigators.