S Africa hails ICC’s move for arrests in Gaza conflict war crimes

South Africa has taken a firm stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict, with President Cyril Ramaphosa expressing support for international legal action against both Israeli and Hamas leaders.

On Monday, Ramaphosa welcomed a request from International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan for warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and three Hamas chiefs, marking a significant move in the global response to the ongoing violence.

Ramaphosa praised Khan’s initiative, emphasizing the importance of accountability in the conflict.

“South Africa is committed to the international rule of law, universal respect for human rights, and the resolution of international disputes through negotiation, not war,” Ramaphosa stated.

He underscored South Africa’s dedication to the self-determination of all peoples, including the Palestinians.

In a related move, South Africa has also filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza.

This legal action further demonstrates South Africa’s proactive approach in addressing what it perceives as grave violations of international law in the region.

However, Ramaphosa’s administration has faced criticism for its inconsistent stance on international law enforcement.

Notably, it sought an exemption from enforcing an ICC warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, had he attended a Johannesburg summit.

This has raised questions about South Africa’s commitment to impartial application of international legal standards.

Despite these criticisms, Ramaphosa was clear in his support for the recent ICC prosecution request.

A statement from his office affirmed South Africa’s approval of the application for arrest warrants for both Israeli and Hamas leaders.

“The law must be applied equally to all to uphold the international rule of law, ensure accountability for heinous crimes, and protect the rights of victims,” the statement read, reiterating the nation’s dedication to justice and human rights.

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