South Africa: ‘Catastrophe looms if Gaza cease-fire talks fail’

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor issued a dire warning on Tuesday regarding the ongoing negotiations for hostages’ release and a cease-fire in Gaza, labeling the potential failure as an “unbelievable tragedy and catastrophe.” Speaking to SABC, Pandor highlighted efforts to push for an urgent U.N. resolution calling for an immediate halt to hostilities.

Pandor emphasized the critical need for an immediate cease-fire, cautioning that without it, the world may witness a catastrophe far worse than the current situation. She expressed a somber sentiment regarding the upcoming Ramadan, fearing for the Palestinians amidst escalating violence if an immediate cease-fire is not achieved.

She also suggested that if major military powers like the US and UK could unify in recognizing the suffering in Gaza and facilitate safe aid delivery, it could mark a significant step toward humanitarian peace. Pandor shared her personal distress over the inability to alleviate the Palestinians’ plight, feeling “useless as a human being” in the face of their suffering.

South Africa has been vocal in its criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza, even accusing it of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Following a deadly offensive initiated by Israel after a Hamas incursion on October 7, 2023, the ICJ issued an interim ruling demanding Israel to cease genocidal acts and ensure humanitarian aid to Gaza. The conflict has resulted in over 30,000 deaths, injured more than 72,000, and led to significant displacement and infrastructure damage, pushing the region into a dire humanitarian crisis.–Web Desk