South African has urged the United Nations to deploy a rapid protection force to protect the civilian population in Gaza from further bombardment by Israel.
The call was made on Monday in a statement signed by the South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
“All countries genuinely committed to a rules-based system underpinned by international law must act immediately,”
The ministry also called on the global community to hold Israel accountable for breaches of international law and also decried the number of children killed in the conflict so far.
It quoted a report by UK-based charity ‘Save the Children’ which said the number of children killed in Gaza over the last three weeks has surpassed the annual number of children killed across all the world’s conflict zones since 2019.
The statement noted that since most of the children killed from the start of the current conflict on Oct. 7 are non-combatants, and so those responsible for their deaths must be held accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity. It also called for the crime of genocide to be investigated.
It added that the scale of deaths in Gaza is a direct result of the unlawful actions by Israel on the peoples of Gaza, including occupation.
The Israeli army has widened its air and ground attacks on Gaza Strip, which has been under relentless airstrikes since the surprise offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7. More than 1,538 Israelis were killed in Hamas attacks.
The Palestinian death toll from Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip has climbed to 8,306, the Health Ministry in the blockaded enclave said on Monday.
The fatalities include 3,457 children and 2,136 women, while more than 21,048 people were injured, it said.