South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor
South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi PandorREUTERS/Nic Bothma

South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, on Wednesday said all states have an obligation to stop funding and facilitating Israel's military actions in Gaza, Reuters reported.

Her comments follow the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in the case her country filed against Israel, accusing it of genocide. The court last week ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide and take steps to improve the humanitarian situation of Gazans, though it stopped short of demanding a ceasefire and has not yet ruled on the core of South Africa's case.

Pandor said the ICJ ruling "makes it clear that it is plausible that genocide is taking place against the Palestinian people in Gaza. This necessarily imposes an obligation on all states to cease funding and facilitating Israel's military actions."

She also said she had met the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week to discuss a joint referral South Africa made in November with other countries about the situation in the Palestinian Arab territories.

"I asked him why he was able to issue an arrest warrant for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and is unable to do so for the prime minister of Israel. He ... did not answer that question. But I read into some of what he said that the investigations are still under way," Pandor told reporters, according to Reuters.

Ties between South Africa and Israel were strained even before this court case, as the country continues to accuse Israel of a policy of apartheid against Palestinian Arabs.

The South African government announced in November it was recalling its ambassador and entire diplomatic mission from Israel in protest against Israel's attempts to defend itself from the Hamas terrorist organization following the October 7 massacre.

Later, South Africa called in Israeli Ambassador Eliav Belotsercovsky for a formal reprimand, citing “public comments” he had made.

In late November, a majority of South African lawmakers voted in favor of a motion calling for the closure of the Israeli embassy and the cutting of diplomatic ties until Israel agrees to a ceasefire in Gaza.

In 2019, the country announced plans to downgrade its embassy in Tel Aviv.