More than one million people have been displaced in Gaza Strip after sustained Israeli bombardment and warnings about a ground attack
As the deadly conflict in Gaza continues, International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor claims that humanitarian aid is being prevented from reaching those devastated by the bombing.
Monday marked 10 days of fighting, with Israel retaliating to an October 7 attack by Hamas.
More than one million people have been displaced in the region, the UN said after sustained Israeli bombardment and warnings about a ground attack against Hamas commanders.
Urgent humanitarian aid
The bombings have left more than 2 300 people dead, many ordinary Palestinians.
Pandor told 702 said urgent humanitarian aid was needed in the area.
“The bombing of residences with residents still in occupation, hospitals bombed, schools bombed, water denied. How do you deny people, at a time when it is extremely hot, deny them water, and stop hospitals dealing with injured people from having water.
“We had hoped we could ask South Africans to voluntarily send some aid to Palestine, medical equipment and medical good, and we were hoping that we could transport those through the Egyptian Rafah crossing,” Pandor said.
The minister claimed the aid was stuck in Egypt.
“We now learn, that Israel is preventing any aid from getting through and is actually attacking humanitarian aid transport. This is absolutely shocking and there really can be no defence for such conduct.
“It is a total breach of humanitarian law and international human rights law and I am hoping that we are going to put forward a case to the ICC (International Criminal Court), all of us as humanity, as this constitutes a war crime and should be pursued by the ICC,” Pandor said.
Egyptian authorities have said that Israel is not cooperating with efforts to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, according to Al Jazeera.
Cairo said on Monday that the Rafah crossing, the sole remaining exit out of Gaza, has been rendered nearly inoperable by continuous Israeli air strikes, with hundreds of tonnes of aid stalled on the Egyptian side.
Meanwhile, AFP reported relief convoys which had been waiting in the Egyptian city of El Arish headed towards the Rafah border crossing with the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Tuesday.
“We have arrived at the terminal and are now waiting for the next step,” said Heba Rashed, who runs the aid group Mersal.
Hundreds more lorries were headed along the coast road for the 40 kilometre journey to Rafah, other aid officials said.
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