President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for a ceasefire in Gaza after the UN top court ordered Israel to take measures to prevent genocide in the strip.
Ramaphosa said South Africa has been vindicated by the court’s decision after it was criticised by some countries.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) was the right organ to adjudicate on the matter, and the country could not sit and watch when thousands of Palestinians were killed, he said.
However, the ruling by the ICJ on Friday has proved that South Africa had taken the correct decision to take up the case.
“We firmly believe that following this judgment, there should now be a more concerted effort towards a ceasefire, and negotiations should commence on a permanent two-state solution to enable Israel and Palestine to live side-by-side as independent states,” said Ramaphosa.
“We welcome the measures that the court ordered by majority decision, ruling that Israel's military should not commit acts of genocide against Palestinians. Israel should take all measures to prevent and punish incitement to genocide. Furthermore, take immediate and effective measures to allow basic services and humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and it should preserve evidence of what is happening in Gaza, including submitting a report within a month on all measures taken to give effect to the ICJ order within one month,” said Ramaphosa.
He said the order was binding on Tel Aviv.
For almost four months, the people of Gaza have been under siege from the Israelis.
The Israeli army had launched airstrikes in Gaza during this time, following a Hamas attack on Israel. Thousands of people have been killed, and the majority of the victims were women and children.
Ramaphosa said South Africa’s application has been supported by a number of countries.
Israel must now implement the ruling of the court, he said.