South African Foreign Minister Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest Israel’s key decision-makers, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for war crimes.
Pandor, while speaking on Tuesday, maintained that South Africa remains steadfast in its call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire.
“The murder of children and women by Israel is an act that should have resulted in the International Criminal Court issuing an immediate arrest warrant for key decision-makers, including Mr. Netanyahu, who is responsible for violations of international criminal law,” Pandor told South Africa’s National Assembly. The facts that have been released, details of the devastation of the current conflict, are horrendous. Over a thousand Palestinians are dead, thousands injured, public facilities destroyed and cruel and wanton bombardment is ongoing. Therefore, as South Africa, we remain steadfast in calling for an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire,” she said.
Instead of treating the ill, Hamas uses hospitals for terrorism. This sick exploitation of the Gazan people must be stopped.
The IDF is conducting a ground operation in Gaza to defeat Hamas and rescue our hostages. Israel is at war with Hamas, not with the civilians in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/SwW3QtQxGZ
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) November 15, 2023
Pandor previously played down Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel while blaming the Jewish nation for the attack. The South African official falsely claimed that the 1,400 people, including women and children as young as one, who were murdered and assaulted during the attack were soldiers and settlers.
In an op-ed published on Nov. 12, Pandor described Israel as an occupying power that has been violating countless international laws. She compared Israel’s alleged occupation to the apartheid regime in South Africa.
It is not Israel that is deliberately targeting civilians but Hamas that beheaded, burned and massacred civilians in the worst horrors perpetrated on Jews since the Holocaust.
While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing…
— Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) November 15, 2023
“The root causes of this war go back to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians over the past 75 years, the illegal occupation of their land, and the ever-expanding web of illegal settlements deep into Palestinian territory,” she insisted.
South Africa’s chief rabbi, Warren Goldstein, blasted Pandor’s Israel apartheid comparison as “factually, politically and morally repugnant.”
“They are views which are a defamation of the Jewish state and an insult to the victims of the real apartheid because if everything’s apartheid, nothing is apartheid,” Goldstein said. “Israel is the only democracy in the region, and the South African government’s support for tyrannies in China, Russia and Iran mean that it does not have the moral credibility to level accusations such as this.”