On Tuesday, Pandor said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be arrested for ‘murder of women and children’.
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor has accused the International Criminal Court (ICC) for having double standards about Israel’s attack on Gaza.
Pandor was speaking outside parliament on Tuesday after delivering a statement in the National Assembly saying she had expected that the ICC would have issued an immediate arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Watch Naledi Pandor commenting about the double standards of the ICC
[SOUTH AFRICA] Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation has called out the International Criminal Court, accusing it of having double standards in the #Israel/#Palestine conflict.
SA’s members of Parliament debated the developments in the Middle East. pic.twitter.com/MOGOALhxUY
— Athi Mtongana (@AthiMtongana) November 7, 2023
“The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahau, who has really been the person fuelling all this violence, we see being perpetrated against innocent Palestinians.
“We have said that the ICC, which was very quick to act when the territory of Ukraine was occupied by Russia, are now silent at this time because it is Palestinian people. We regard this as a double standard and we do call as the Palestinian authority has done, on the ICC to declare itself on this matter and recognise the crime and harm that has been caused,” Pandor said.
During her statement, Pandor called for an immediate ceasefire and for humanitarian aid to be allowed into Gaza.
Tension flared during the sitting in the National Assembly as parties debated the statement by Pandor.
While the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Emma Louise Powell said they were in solidarity with both Palestinians and Israelis, the Economic freedom Fighters (EFF) Mbuyiseni Ndlozi expressed emotion on cutting ties with Israel.
“Why are we friends with people who are massacring children in hospitals and schools. Let us sever ties.
Ndlozi said many people were painting the Palestinians as terrorists.
“We know that label very well. It was a label that was given to Mandela, it was a label given to (Robert) Sobukwe. It is a label that was given to the liberation movement.”
The National Freedom Party’s (NFP) Ahmed Shaik-Emam said negotiation will not resolve the conflict.
“My colleagues here, either they have gone deaf or they have gone blind. Some of them say we must go and negotiate. Isn’t that what was happening all these years? Israel has not complied with one single agreement.
“You want to negotiate with the Palestinians about something that rightfully belongs to the Palestinians. Why are you forgetting that Israel never existed. The Palestinian Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived there peacefully side by side for thousands of years. It’s Zionism that is some hundred years old, that is the problem,” Emam debated.
Gaza becoming a graveyard
However, the Inkatha Freedom Party’s (IFP) Mkhuleko Hlengwa warned government against isolationism in a time of war.
“It is not a solution. Recalling or dismissing ambassadors merely amounts to regressive diplomacy − which, in turn, complicates negotiations,” said Hlengwa.
Pandor stressed there must be two state solution to end the conflict.
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be solved through the establishment of two states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace. The Palestinian state should be created along the lines of the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital and in line with standing multiple UN resolutions.”
On Monday, United Nations (UN) secretary-general António Guterres stressed that the need for a humanitarian ceasefire is becoming more urgent with every passing hour, saying “Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children”.
Guterres was addressing the media after officials in Gaza confirmed the death toll from Israel relentless attacks had reached over 10 000, many of whom are women and children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.