'Violation of truce most unfortunate,' says Ramaphosa on renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas
President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his disappointment at the resumption of fighting between Israel and Hamas.
“It’s most unfortunate and as South Africa we are appalled at the continued deaths that are going on and we see this as genocide that there is collective punishment that is being levelled against Palestinians in Gaza.
“This must stop. There was a truce and we would have wanted this truce to hold and, to be transformed into a ceasefire where the deaths of people stopped,” he said.
Ramaphosa was speaking to the media after addressing the G77 and China Leaders’ Summit on the sidelines of the UN Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Saturday.
Reuters reported that renewed fighting in Gaza stretched into a second day on Saturday after talks to extend a week-old truce with Hamas collapsed and mediators said Israeli bombardments were complicating attempts to again pause hostilities.
Ramaphosa said South Africa had noted the latest developments.
“As the government of South Africa, we continue to call for a ceasefire because we believe it will create conditions for the problem between Israel and Palestine to be resolved when they finally sit down to negotiate to establish a two-state solution.”
Ramaphosa reminded world leaders at the climate conference that they know what acting in solidarity is all about.
He implored them to act in solidarity in remembering the suffering of the people of Palestine.
“The people who are now being subjected to acts of genocide where more than 16,000 people have already been killed in the most cruel fashion and where in an unprecedented way, more than 4,000 children have died and many more have war wounds inflicted on their fragile bodies.”
The people of Palestine, particularly in Gaza, need to live in peace and it is for this reason that “we are demanding that there should be a ceasefire and that the ceasefire should happen now to stop the slaughter of people in Gaza”.
On Friday, Ramaphosa used the country’s statement at the conference to urge leaders to call for the cessation of violence in Gaza.
Pretoria has been vocal in its support for Palestine and calling for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be investigated for war crimes, sending a referral letter to the International Criminal Court in The Hague two weeks ago.
On November 1, the cabinet decided to recall South Africa's diplomats from Israel for consultations.
This was followed by a démarche against Israeli ambassador Eli Belotserkovsky by the international relations and co-operation department over his conduct relating to the war.
The Israeli government recalled Belotserkovsky for consultations, further deepening the strained relations between Tel Aviv and Pretoria.
Brics leaders recently met to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
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