South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accused Israel of war crimes and “genocide” in Gaza, during an extraordinary summit of the BRICS group of nations on yesterday.
Pretoria is hosting a virtual meeting of BRICS aimed at drawing up a common response to the Israeli attacks on Gaza. BRICS is a group of major emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
President Ramaphosa, calling the attacks a ‘collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force’, labelled Israel’s actions a war crime. He also accused Israel of deliberately denying the supply of medicine, fuel, food and water to the residents of Gaza, calling it genocide.
Fighting has raged in Gaza after Hamas gunmen killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, during cross-border raids on October 7. Hamas says Israel’s retaliatory attacks have killed more than 13,300 people, thousands of them children.
On Tuesday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said a truce agreement with Israel was in sight, with mediator Qatar adding negotiations to free hostages seized by the Palestinian Islamist group were at their “closest point” to a deal.