Johannesburg: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that the country welcomes the measures that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered by majority decision, asking Israel to take all possible measures to prevent genocide acts in the Gaza Strip.

“Earlier today, the ICJ in The Hague issued a ruling that is a victory for international law, for human rights, and above all, for justice,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address to the nation on Friday.

“The ICJ, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has handed down a ruling that the State of Israel should immediately implement a set of provisional measures to prevent any further acts of genocide in Gaza, to desist from such acts, and to take effective measures to prevent the destruction and ensure the preservation of evidence relating to acts of genocide. As the South African government, we welcome the decision of the ICJ,” Ramaphosa was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying.

The order is binding on Israel, and must be respected by all states that are party to the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, he said, adding that South Africa expects Israel, as a self-proclaimed

democracy and a state that respects the rule of law, to abide by the measures handed down by the ICJ.

“As South Africa, we thank all in the international community who have supported our application, including a number of countries who have declared their intention to be part of our application,” he said.

“It is our earnest hope and wish that this court order paves the way for an end to this crisis, for an end to the terrible loss of life and hardship, and for the crucial first steps to be taken towards reconciliation and a just, lasting peace,” said Ramaphosa.

South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation on Friday also welcomed the ICJ’s order, saying the ruling marks a decisive victory for the international rule of law and a significant milestone in the search for justice for the Palestinian people.

On December 29, 2023, South Africa filed an application to the ICJ for proceedings against Israel, concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide related to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

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