International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor has called on the International Criminal Court to act against key decision-makers in Israel, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the bombing of Gaza, which has killed thousands of civilians, women and children.
Pandor told Parliament on Tuesday, during the debate on the Palestine conflict, that the murder of women, children and the elderly is an act that should have led to the ICC to immediately issue a warrant of arrest against Netanyahu and top officials in Tel Aviv.
The debate in Parliament takes a place a day after government announced it was going to recall diplomatic officials from Israel.
Pandor said the killing of Palestinians has been going on for too long, and the world has not acted.
She said this was not the first time that the people of Palestine have come under attack from Israel, as this has been going on for decades.
Pandor said the facts that have been released on the devastation of the conflict were horrendous.
More than 10,000 people have been killed since the conflict began a month ago and thousands were injured.
The bombing of the Gaza Strip has led to the destruction of hospitals, clinics, schools and other public facilities.
“Therefore, as South Africa, we remain steadfast in calling for an immediate comprehensive ceasefire as well as opening of all humanitarian corridors to ensure much needed aid and basic services reach those in need,” said Pandor.
She said Israel was in violation of international law and the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions over its bombardment of civilians.
The ICC should have acted immediately against the killing of women and children.
“However, chairperson, the murder of children, women and the aged by Israel is an act that should have resulted in the International Criminal Court issuing an immediate arrest warrant for key decision-makers, including Mr Netanyahu who is responsible for violations of international criminal law,” said Pandor.
“Madam chairperson and honourable members, it is important to stress that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through the establishment of two states, Palestine and Israel living side-by-side in peace,” said Pandor.
She added that the conflict calls for the reform of the global governance system.
The ANC and its allies have welcomed the decision by government to recall its diplomatic officials from Israel for consultations.