Johannesburg, Feb 9 (EFE).- South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor accused Israeli intelligence of attempting to “intimidate” her, after South Africa accused the Jewish state of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the war in Gaza.
Pandor said she was concerned for the security of her family and had asked the country’s Police Ministry to beef up her security after receiving threatening messages, local media reported on Friday.
“I felt that it would be better if we had extra security. But what I’m more concerned about is my family, because in some of the social media messages my children are mentioned and so on,” she said.
“But this is par for the course. The Israeli agents, the intelligence services, (this) is how they behave, and they seek to intimidate you, so we must not be intimidated. There is a cause that is under way.”
She underscored that the South African government was determined to continue with its ICJ case as a “moral course” and support the Palestinian people in their quest for peace.
“We can’t stand back now. We must be with them. I think one of the things we must not allow is a failure of courage. It’s extremely important that we continue with this,” she stressed.
On Thursday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that his country had taken up the “Palestinian cause” to the top UN court to prevent “further deaths and destruction” in the Gaza Strip.
“We have welcomed the ruling of the International Court of Justice that Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians,” he said during his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Cape Town.
South Africa “condemns” the killing of civilians on “all sides” and calls on parties involved in the conflict to commit to a peace process that would deliver a “two state solution,” the president added.
On Dec. 29, South Africa filed a lawsuit before the ICJ, accusing Israel of committing alleged genocide against Palestinians during the war in Gaza.
In its ruling on Jan. 26, the court ordered Israel to “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of genocide” in Gaza and adopt “immediate and effective measures” to facilitate the provision of aid to the besieged enclave.
However, the ICJ did not explicitly call for a “ceasefire” as a precautionary measure.
The South African government has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause.
The ruling party, the African National Congress, often draws parallels between the Palestinian cause and its historical struggle against the apartheid regime (1948-1994).
The conflict between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7 after a multipronged attack by the Islamist group resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people in Israeli towns and the abduction of at least 240 hostages by militants.
Since then, the Israeli military offensive in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of over 27,800 Palestinians, including over 10,000 children, and the injury of another 67,300 people. EFE