South African solidarity with the Palestinian liberation cause extends beyond rhetoric, with the republic initiating charges against Israel for acts and omissions committed in Gaza amounting to ‘genocide’.
Riyad Al Maliki, Palestine’s Foreign Affairs Minister met with his South African counterpart, Grace Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, to hold talks about Israel’s continued bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
In an X post published on Sunday, the two were said to have discussed “joint efforts at all levels” to bring an end to the carnage being wreaked on the enclave.
So far, Gaza has suffered a death toll of at least 25,000 people since October 7. A further 62,681 remain injured.
With no let up in its demolition campaign, the aggressor has also crippled Gaza’s health sector.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ latest impact report, while under heavy strikes just 16 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are functional – and only partially.
UN OCHA also reports that 20 WASH facilities in Gaza have been destroyed.
According to the World Health Organisation, WASH is a catch-all phrase – referring to water, sanitation, health care waste management, hygiene and environmental cleaning infrastructure.
The violent occupier’s destruction of hospitals and WASH facilities has drastically reduced the capacity of humanitarian missions to both diagnose and prevent the spread of communicable disease, UN OCHA warned in a flash update.
This was echoed by WHO Secretary General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
In an X post published on Friday, Ghebreyesus said that the uninhabitable living conditions induced by Israel’s indiscriminate shelling have seen a spike in cases of Hepatitis A and jaundice.
“The inhumane living conditions – barely any clean water, clean toilets and the possibility to keep the surroundings clean – will enable Hepatitis A to spread further and highlight how explosively dangerous the environment is for the spread of disease,” the WHO chief said.
“The capacity to diagnose diseases remains extremely limited. There is no functioning laboratory. The capacity to respond remains limited too.
“We continue to call for unimpeded and safe access to medical aid and for health to be protected. #CeasefireNOW,” he added.
On December 29, South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation announced that for these crimes against humanity, the republic would initiate court proceedings against Israel.
As per their complaint and in a bold display of solidarity with the Palestinian cause, South Africa has taken Israel to the International Court of Justice to stand trial for its acts and omissions that are “genocidal in character […] committed with the requisite specific intent to destroy Palestinians in Gaza”.
On January 12, Israel took the stand at the Hague to contest South Africa’s charges.
As the ICJ deliberates over the case, Israel’s brutal demolition of the enclave and its people continues.