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‘We expect Israel to abide by ICJ verdict’ – South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa

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President of South , , has called on to abide by the ruling of the International of Justice (ICJ) on the emergency measures requested by South in its case against over its war on the Strip.

The international court on Friday, January 26, delivered its interim ruling in favour of .

The court has also ordered Israel to take steps to prevent its forces from committing acts of genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Reacting to the ruling of the court, the ANC leader, in a televised address, among other things, said, “We expect Israel to abide by the World Court’s verdict,” adding, “We firmly believe that following the ICJ judgement there should be more concerted efforts on a ceasefire. South Africans will not be passive bystanders while crimes are perpetrated upon other people elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, the ICJ stopped short of demanding a ceasefire and has not yet ruled on the core of the case brought by South Africa—whether genocide has occurred in Gaza. This ruling, according to reports, could take years.

Bringing the case to the ‘s top court has been a major diplomatic victory for South Africa, which has long championed the cause of Palestinians, likening their plight to its own under apartheid—a comparison Israel strongly rejects.

Israel had called for the case to be thrown out, denying South Africa’s allegations of genocide as “grossly distorted” and saying it makes efforts to avoid civilian casualties.

Reactions

There was jubilation across South Africa following the ruling.

Reports suggest that officials of the ruling ANC who were attending a party meeting, including Ramaphosa, watched the live screening of the ICJ ruling.

As the court concluded its interim ruling, President Ramaphosa, ministers, and other party members were seen jubilating.

“It’s a watershed judgement for all those who want to see in Palestine,” Fikile Mbalula, secretary-general of the ruling African National Congress party (ANC), told reporters.

“Let history record that #SouthAfrica led the international community in fighting to give meaning to “never again”….! The people of #Palestine also have a right to life,” Clayson Monyela, spokesman for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, wrote on X.

On December 29, 2023, South Africa filed a lawsuit with the ICJ requesting an injunction against Israel on the grounds that Israel’s attacks on Gaza violate the Genocide Convention.

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