In a fervent appeal to the international community, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed profound concern over the breakdown of the Israel/Hamas truce.
Speaking at the COP28 in Dubai, Ramaphosa called for a more permanent ceasefire and international intervention to resolve the ongoing Middle East conflict.
President Ramaphosa's Condemnation
Branding the ongoing violence in Gaza as 'genocide' and 'collective punishment' against Palestinians, Ramaphosa has urged for the urgent restoration of peace in the region. His remarks come at a critical juncture when the world is reeling under the shock of the recent escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip.
Concurrently, senior Hamas leader Basim Naim, visiting South Africa for a solidarity event with Palestine, characterized the recent Israeli strikes on Gaza as unprecedented in severity since the occupation began.
Naim emphasized the significant suffering endured by Gazans, particularly children, during the last 50 days of conflict, describing the situation as beyond words and likening it to a 'carpet bombardment' of the densely populated area.
End of the Ceasefire
A temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that took effect from 24 November 2023 to 30 November 2023 during the 2023 Israel Hamas war ended abruptly.
The initial agreement, mediated by Qatar, provided for a four-day break in fighting during which hostages were to be released and more humanitarian aid allowed to enter Gaza. The truce ended on 1 December with both sides blaming each other for violating the ceasefire.
Impact on Western Cape Politics
The Israel-Hamas war has also cast its shadow over Western Cape politics in South Africa. The reactions of political parties, civil society organizations, and the public have been highlighted, along with the potential influence of the Israel issue on electoral outcomes in the region.
Minister in The Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni reiterated the call for a comprehensive ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict and emphasized the need for a more permanent end to the violence.