Cabinet expect ‘speedy’ ICC arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu

Cabinet expect ‘speedy’ ICC arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni says South Africa expects the International Criminal Court to move with speed in issuing a warrant of arrest against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni

Ntshavheni on Monday briefed the media on last week’s cabinet meeting.

South Africa, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Comoros and Djibouti have written to the ICC asking it to investigate Israel for war crimes amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said on Sunday they were taking their fight against Hamas militants to "additional neighbourhoods" of the Gaza Strip, where an aerial and ground offensive has already killed 13,000 people, including thousands of children, according to the Hamas-run government.

The bloodiest ever Gaza war started with the shock October 7 Hamas attack that Israeli officials say left 1,200 people dead and saw 240 taken hostage.

The South African government has expressed solidarity and support for the people of Palestine while also condemning the killing of civilians on both sides.

Some pro-Palestine groups have held pickets outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria, calling for the removal of the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Eliav Belotserkovsky.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan confirmed receipt of a referral from the five countries.

Ntshavheni accused the office of the ICC prosecutor of dragging its feet despite the gravity of the situation.

"The current atrocities may not have occurred if these investigations took place as soon as the Palestinian Authority first made its referral.

"We expect now that other state parties have also added their voices for an end to the impunity by Israel, and the significant levels of evidence available, that international warrants of arrest will be issued by the time the conference of parties meet in mid-December in New York."

She added that the global community needs to rise to stop the genocide.

"More children have been killed over the last month than those killed per annum in all conflicts combined for the last three years.

"More UN staff members have been killed in Gaza since the founding of the United Nations. The number of journalists killed has been staggering. These are all people killed by the actions of the Israeli government, not to defend itself, but evinced by the statements of its leaders to clear most of Gaza of Palestinians and to occupy it."


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