South Africa accuses Israel of ignoring UN court’s ruling
Palestinians flee from the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza after an Israeli ground and air offensive on January 29, 2024 | AP

More than 27,000 people have been killed by Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, the territory’s Health Ministry reported today, after South Africa accused Tel Aviv of ignoring a ruling by the United Nations’ top court calling for restraint.

The number of deaths has grown by more than 1,100 since the International Court of Justice in The Hague ordered Israel to do everything possible to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel is contesting the case, which was brought by South Africa.

The Health Ministry said 27,019 Palestinians had been killed and 66,139 wounded since the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel that sparked the IDF assault. It said that most of the dead were women and children.

South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said on Wednesday that her country would “look at proposing other measures to the global community” in a bid to stop Israel from killing civilians.

“I believe the rulings of the court have been ignored,” she said.

“Hundreds of people have been killed in the last three or four days. And clearly, Israel believes it has a license to do as it wishes.”

Pandor said there was a danger of the world doing nothing to stop civilian casualties in Gaza, arguing that similar inaction had contributed to the horrific death toll in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which claimed more than 800,000 lives.

The court’s ruling is binding on Israel, which could theoretically face UN sanctions if it is found to be breaching the orders, although any punishment is almost certain to be vetoed by the United States.

Pandor also said that South Africa was eager to pursue a case it has lodged with the International Criminal Court accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of war crimes.

A South African delegation met with the ICC president and prosecutor last week, she said, when it stressed “our concern at the slow pace of action” on the case against Mr. Netanyahu, which was filed in November.

“I asked him why he was able to issue an arrest warrant for Mr. Putin while he is unable to do so for the Prime Minister of Israel,” Ms. Pandor said. “He couldn’t answer and didn’t answer that question.”

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin last year over alleged war crimes relating to the removal of children from Ukraine.

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Morning Star
Morning Star

Morning Star is the socialist daily newspaper published in Great Britain. Morning Star es el diario socialista publicado en Gran Bretaña.