South Africa says citizens fighting for Israel military to face prosecution

2023-12-19 19:40:14
South Africa says citizens fighting for Israel military to face prosecution

South Africa has warned its citizens fighting for Israel in Gaza may face prosecution at home because they are contributing to “international crimes”, as President Cyril Ramaphosa once again denounced Israel’s war as "genocide."

South Africa’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was "gravely concerned" by reports that some South African nationals had joined Israel’s military to fight in Gaza, AFP reported.

"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 ministry said.

Naturalised citizens are at further risk of being stripped of their South African nationality for engaging in a war that the country "does not support or agree with", the foreign ministry added.

South Africa has long been a supporter of the Palestinian struggle against the occupying Israeli regime, often linking it to its own struggle against the former apartheid regime.

It has also strongly condemned Israel's latest war in Gaza, which has killed about 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 52,286 others.

On Monday, at a press conference with representatives of pro-Palestinian groups in Johannesburg, Ramaphosa denounced the "genocidal onslaught and slaughter of the people of Palestine".

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