Ramaphosa Calls On UN To Send Troops To Gaza

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the BRICS Extraordinary Joint Meeting on Middle East. Photo: Supplied.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated South Africa’s tough stance against Israel over the Gaza war, calling upon the United Nations (UN) to send soldiers to the Middle East with the aim of ensuring a peaceful dialogue between the state of Tel Aviv and Hamas.

Ramaphosa was speaking during the extraordinary joint meeting of BRICS leaders to discuss the situation in the Middle East on Tuesday, November 21.

Leaders and delegates of the recently invited members of BRICS, such as Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, were present at the virtual meeting hosted by South Africa.

“Since the 7th of October, when more than 1,200 people were killed in an attack by Hamas on Israel, the world has borne witness to the devastating killing of thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza, many of whom are women and children. Over 11,000 residents of Gaza have been killed. Many thousands more have been injured. Infrastructure, homes, hospitals, and other public facilities have been destroyed. More than half of Gaza’s population has been displaced.

“The actions by Israel are in clear violation of international law, including the UN Charter and the Geneva Convention read together with its protocols. In its attacks on civilians and by taking hostages, Hamas has also violated international law and must be held accountable for these actions. The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime. The deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food, and water to the residents of Gaza is tantamount to genocide,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa told the BRICS leaders that urgent action was needed to intervene in the situation. He called on the UN to demonstrate its might and ensure there was an immediate ceasefire.

“As South Africa, we call for, first, an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire. Second, the opening of humanitarian corridors so that aid and other basic services reach all those in need. Third, all countries exercise restraint and desist from fueling this conflict, including by ceasing the supply of weapons to the parties. Fourth, the release of all civilian hostages. Fifth, the resumption of a comprehensive dialogue led and owned by Palestinians and Israelis themselves and facilitated by the United Nations. Sixth, the deployment of a UN Rapid Deployment Force in Palestine, with a mandate to monitor the cessation of hostilities and protect civilians,” said Ramaphosa.

Palestinians scramble for safety in Gaza Strip after relentless Israeli air bombardment, which has killed more than 11,000 civilians since October 7. Photo: Xinhua.

The seven-point strategic intervention proposed by South Africa includes putting pressure on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate war crimes against the people of Palestine.

“Lastly, the International Criminal Court must urgently initiate prosecutions against those responsible for the perpetration of war crimes. As South Africans, we appreciate the importance and value of international solidarity. As an important voice of the Global South, representing a large part of humanity, we believe that BRICS has a vital role in a widespread international effort to achieve a just and lasting peace,” Ramaphosa said.

“As individual countries, we have demonstrated our grave concern at the death and destruction in Gaza. Let this meeting stand as a clarion call for us to combine our efforts and strengthen our actions to end this historical injustice. Let us work together to realize a just, peaceful, and secure future for the people of both Palestine and Israel.”

South Africa’s tough stance on Israel has boosted Pretoria’s image of being a key player in international affairs.

The South African Parliament has adopted a motion by EFF President Julius Malema calling for the closure of the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa. Picture: supplied.

Recently, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) President Julius Malema sponsored a motion in parliament calling for the closure of the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, and the suspension of relations with Israel. Parliament has since adopted the motion calling for the Ramaphosa administration to close the Israeli embassy and suspend diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv for its alleged genocide and ethnic cleaning in Gaza.

Malema said his aim was to ensure that the human rights of Palestinians are respected, promoted, and protected.

Ahead of the motion, Malema said the EFF is not fixated on every condition it has put forward but is open to the possibility of the ANC making changes to the sponsored motion.



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