SA calls for protection force, opening of corridors in Gaza


On Monday, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) once again called for humanitarian corridors in Gaza to be opened immediately and unconditionally to provide civilians with food, medical supplies and fuel.

The department says South Africa is now also calling on the United Nations (UN) to deploy a protection force to Gaza to protect civilians from further bomb attacks.

“All countries that are truly committed to a rules-based system supported by international law must act immediately,” Dirco said on Monday.

This department believes that Israel, which has been carrying out a retaliatory campaign in Gaza since a surprise attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, is currently violating international law and should be held accountable for civilian deaths in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his war cabinet on Monday that Israel is making “systematic progress” in its military campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

Israel has been carrying out daily airstrikes in Gaza since Hamas carried out an attack on Israel on October 7 that claimed the lives of 1,400 people. A total of 239 people were taken hostage on the day in question, some of whom have since been released.

The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza now says more than 8,300 people have been killed by Israel since then.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), on Monday referred to his own childhood in a war-torn Ethiopia as he pleaded with world leaders to unite for peace.

“As a child caught in the shadows of war, I knew its smell, sounds and reality intimately. I deeply empathize with those now caught in the middle of conflict, and feel their pain as if it were my own.

“War brings only devastation, horror and destruction. Nothing else.

“In this critical moment, let us rise above division and embrace the path of peace. True courage lies in choosing peace. I call on world leaders to unite and lead the world to peace,” said Ghebreyesus.