CAPE TOWN (Agencies): The South African government has warned its citizens who are fighting in the Israel Defence Forces against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip that they may face prosecution and have their citizenship revoked. President Cyril Ramaphosa, meanwhile, has once again condemned the Israeli attack on Gaza, describing it as genocide.
“The South African Government is gravely concerned by reports that some South African citizens and permanent residents have joined or are considering joining the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the war in Gaza and in the other Occupied Palestinian Territories,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pretoria on Monday. “Such action can potentially contribute to the violation of international law and the commission of further international crimes, thus making them liable for prosecution in South Africa.” The authorities, stressed the ministry, are monitoring such citizens.
“The South African Citizenship Act, 1995 (Act No. 88 of 1995) provides that any person who obtained South African citizenship by naturalisation in terms of that Act shall cease to be a South African citizen if he or she engages under the flag of another country in a war that the Republic does not support or agree with,” added the ministry.
Moreover, Ramaphosa has called on the International Criminal Court to conduct an immediate investigation into the war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip. He told journalists on Monday that South Africa has submitted the necessary documents to the ICC regarding Israeli war crimes, and that it is waiting for the court to take action regarding the investigation. The ICC, he pointed out, has the authority to indict those responsible for war crimes committed in Palestine.
As of yesterday, Israel had killed 19,453 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since 7 October, most of them children and women. More than 51,000 have been wounded, and at least 8,000 remain missing under the rubble of the civilian infrastructure destroyed by the apartheid state. The occupied Palestinian territory has been under Israeli siege for more than 16 years, and is in the grip of an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” say Palestinian and UN sources.