Israel’s apartheid must come to an end, Madonsela tells the ICJ

The International Court of Justice‘s (ICJ) oral proceedings grew more intense on Tuesday after South Africa made a moving plea for an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

Drawing comparisons between South Africa’s apartheid past and the Palestinian struggles, the South African ambassador to the Netherlands, Vusi Madonsela, emphasised the pressing need for action.

Madonsela gave a moving speech in which he criticised the international community for failing to effectively oppose Israel’s over 50-year occupation.

He called for immediate action and questioned why Israel continues to enjoy impunity despite numerous violations of international law.

Media reports state that at least 103 people have died as a result of Israeli attacks in Gaza during the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities since October 7 to 29 195.

Since the start of Israel’s campaign in Gaza, 69 170 people have also been injured.

Referring to recent events, Madonsela decried the relentless attacks on Gaza, characterising Israel’s actions as a flagrant disregard for international law and human rights.

The horrors of apartheid

He likened the situation in Gaza to the horrors of apartheid, stressing the urgent need for justice and accountability. “When will Israel’s violations end, if not now?” he asked.

Key points raised by Madonsela included the demand for the dismantling of all settlements and the implementation of a two-state solution.

He also condemned the illegal detention of Palestinians.

Madonsela urged the international community to develop mechanisms to uphold the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories.

He stated that Israel must adhere to international humanitarian law and denounced the country’s ongoing settlement construction, which is against the Geneva Convention.

“We as South Africans sense, see, hear, and feel to our core the inhumane discriminatory policies and practices of the Israeli regime as an even more extreme form of the apartheid that was institutionalised against black people in my country.

“Israel’s apartheid must end.”

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