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Calls mount for the ICC to probe international law breaches in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

todayNovember 13, 2023 29

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As pressure mounts for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate cases of human rights violations in the Israeli-Palestine conflict, the war surges on after more than a month since the initial attack.

In the recent attacks, hundreds of patients were left trapped and thousands of people seeking shelter around the Al-Shifa Hospital, which has become the latest focal point of the war.

The conflict started on October 7  after Hamas launched attacks on Israel that killed 1 200 people, most of them civilians.

Israel launched retaliatory attacks in which to date at least 11 180 people in Gaza, including 4 609 children, have been killed – according to Gaza authorities.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other reports, about 3 000 patients and staff are sheltering inside the Al-Shifa Hospital – without adequate supplies of fuel, water and food.

The health ministry in Palestine has reported that at least 32 patients from Al-Shifa Hospital have died over the past three days – including three premature babies.

Operations at the facility, which is the largest in the Gaza Strip, have been suspended since Saturday after the hospital ran out of fuel.

It is understood that about 650 patients, 500 healthcare workers, and an estimated 2 500 displaced people remain inside the hospital.

WHO director, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says the situation in Gaza is dire and perilous.

Speaking at a briefing on the health situation in Gaza to the United Nations (UN) Security Council, Ghebreyesus said this situation has severely impacted doctors’ efforts to provide essential care to those who need it.

He also made a call to the world not to stand silent while hospitals, which should be safe havens, are transformed into scenes of death, devastation, and despair.

 

Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has yet again refused calls for a ceasefire, saying it will not happen until Hamas releases all hostages the group took when it launched its attack on Israel.

He was responding to a call from the 57-nation gathering of Muslim and Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia at the weekend, who called for an end to the war in Gaza and the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid.

In South Africa, Good Party leader Patricia De Lille has joined calls for the International Criminal Court to investigate breaches of international law in the conflict.

Speaking at a media briefing at the Cape Town City Hall after her party’s first inaugural elective congress, De Lille also advocated for an unconditional ceasefire.

She accused the United Nations of having failed the people of Palestine in this situation.

 

South Africa’s International Relations Minister, Dr Naledi Pandor, has also made the call for the launch of a probe into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against Israel.

Some civil rights organisations want the Israeli ambassador expelled from Pretoria, while dozens of pro-Palestinians rallies have been held in parts of the country since the conflict began in early October.

There’s also been pockets of pro-Israeli gatherings, with the latest turning violent in Cape Town yesterday after supporters of the Palestinian course disrupted it.

Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris

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