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World must do more to end persecution of Palestinians: South Africa president

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the Investing in African Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, South Africa February 5, 2019. (File photo by Reuters)

South Africa has sounded the alarm on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and called for urgent action to put an end to the suffering of the nation including women and children.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in a statement on Saturday urged the international community, including Israel’s allies, not to turn a blind eye to the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip which has so far killed nearly 35,000 people since the war began on October 7.

“The gross human rights violations perpetrated by Israel have scaled to incomprehensible levels of cruelty, hate, and extreme violent oppression,” Ramaphosa said.

“The world must do more to end the persecution of Palestinians, including that of many innocent women and children.”

Ramaphosa also added that South Africa on Friday has once again taken legal action at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to seek an urgent order to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza from grave and irreparable violations of their rights under the Genocide Convention as a result of Israel’s ongoing genocidal war on Gaza, exacerbated by a recent bloody assault on the southern city of Rafah.

South Africa had lodged a complaint against Israel to the top UN court last December. The ICJ initially passed a verdict in January, issuing an interim ruling saying it is “plausible” that Israel is committing genocide against those living in the Gaza Strip.

The court ordered the apartheid regime to stop its attacks and take measures to ensure that Palestinians received humanitarian aid.

Ramaphosa said a permanent ceasefire in Gaza is required for the ICJ’s measures to be effectively implemented.

He added that the latest urgent application to the international court follows the Israeli regime force’s increased attacks on Rafah, which has worsened the already dire situation, plunging the region to the brink of a horrifying total collapse.

The city of Rafah is the refuge of some 1.5 million displaced Gazans who fled their homes after the Israeli regime launched its war on Gaza more than 7 months ago.

The South African leader added that the worldwide pro-Palestinian student protests, which began to gain momentum last month after a solidarity encampment at the US Columbia University campus and led to the mass arrest of thousands of students, had been a source of encouragement for his country.

Ramaphosa also said that the UN General Assembly's backing of the Palestinian bid to become a full member of the world body despite the American-Israeli opposition has also encouraged South Africa.

“We are also greatly encouraged by the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly draft resolution that recommends to the Security Council to reconsider favorably the application by the State of Palestine for full membership of the United Nations,” he said.

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