US And South Africa Discuss Gaza Conflict On Eve Of ICJ Ruling

As the ICJ prepared to deliver its ruling, concerns grew for the civilians trapped in the fighting in Gaza's south, particularly around the city of Khan Yunis.

US And South Africa Discuss Gaza Conflict On Eve Of ICJ Ruling - The Times Post
US And South Africa Discuss Gaza Conflict On Eve Of ICJ Ruling.

On the eve of the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) interim ruling on Israel’s war against Hamas, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken reached out to South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor to discuss the conflict in Gaza.

The phone call between the two officials focused on the importance of protecting civilian lives, providing sustained humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians, and working towards lasting regional peace that ensures Israel’s security and advances the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

The United States reaffirmed its support for Israel’s right to defend itself and prevent future terrorist attacks, while also emphasizing the significance of the U.S.-South Africa partnership and cooperation in areas such as health, trade, and energy.

[ ICJ To Deliver Order On South Africa’s Request For Provisional Measures Against Israel ]

As the ICJ prepared to deliver its ruling, concerns grew for the civilians trapped in the fighting in Gaza’s south, particularly around the city of Khan Yunis. The ICJ has the power to order Israel to halt its military action in Gaza, but it has limited ability to enforce its rulings.

The international community has expressed increasing concern for the civilian population in Khan Yunis and other parts of the territory. Reports emerged of a tragic incident in which civilians were killed while waiting for humanitarian aid to be distributed.

The Hamas-run health ministry stated that 20 people were killed and 150 wounded when tanks appeared and fired shells at the crowd. The incident was condemned as a “horrific war crime” by Hamas and Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.

However, the claim could not be independently verified, and the Israeli military did not immediately respond to the allegations. The situation in Gaza further deteriorated with the shelling of a United Nations shelter in Khan Yunis, resulting in the deaths of 13 people.

France called on Israel to comply with international law and joined the United States in condemning the strike, although it did not directly attribute responsibility to Israel. The Israeli military is the only force known to operate tanks in Gaza, which has been under Hamas rule since 2007.

The ongoing clashes and bombardment in Khan Yunis have led to a growing humanitarian crisis. Thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought refuge in hospitals and other locations, while many others have fled to the city of Rafah near the Egyptian border.

Germany expressed extreme concern for the desperate situation faced by civilians in Khan Yunis, particularly those seeking shelter in hospitals.

South Africa applied with the ICJ, accusing Israel of violating the UN Convention on Genocide and seeking urgent measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza. While the ICJ’s decision on the application is expected soon, a judgment on whether Israel is committing genocide in Gaza could take years to reach.

Hamas pledged to respect a ceasefire if called upon by the ICJ, but only if Israel also complies. The case has sparked anger in Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to continue defending the country’s interests.

To negotiate another truce in Gaza and secure the release of hostages, CIA Director William Burns is reportedly planning to travel to Europe to meet with Israeli and Egyptian counterparts, as well as the Qatari prime minister.

The United States is actively involved in diplomatic efforts to bring about a resolution to the ongoing conflict, with President Joe Biden’s Middle East envoy Brett McGurk already in the region for talks.

As the ICJ prepares to deliver its interim ruling, the international community continues to monitor the situation in Gaza closely, hoping for a peaceful resolution that protects civilian lives and paves the way for lasting peace in the region.

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