In a show of solidarity, Palestinians gathered waving flags and holding signs, thanking South Africa for pursuing a case against Israel for its alleged genocide in Gaza. The UN’s top court is set to begin hearings on Thursday, as South Africa seeks to compel Israel to halt its bombardment.
Ramallah Mayor Issa Kassis expressed gratitude, stating, “It’s very important to show appreciation to the people who understand our pain.” South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, historically aligned with the Palestinian cause, draws parallels to its own struggle against apartheid.
Mvuyo Mhangwane, South Africa’s representative to the Palestinians, emphasized their enduring friendship, echoing Nelson Mandela’s words that South Africa’s freedom is incomplete without the freedom of Palestinians.
Despite the International Court of Justice’s limited enforcement capabilities, the case has sparked strong reactions. The US dismissed it as “meritless,” while Israel accused South Africa of providing political and legal cover for a recent attack by Hamas, resulting in civilian casualties on both sides.
The contentious situation underscores the complex geopolitical dynamics surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict, with South Africa stepping into a role that elicits both praise and condemnation on the international stage.