South Africa warns its citizens serving in Israeli army of arrest upon their return home

Country’s top diplomat says she has already issued statement alerting those who are fighting alongside or in Israeli army

South African citizens fighting alongside or serving in the Israel army will face arrest when they return home, Israeli media reported Wednesday, citing the country’s foreign minister.

“I have already issued a statement alerting those who are South African and who are fighting alongside or in the Israeli Defense Forces. We are ready. When you come home, we’re going to arrest you,” The Times of Israel newspaper quoted Naledi Pandor as saying at a recent conference on solidarity with Palestinians in the South African capital Pretoria.

Her remarks came after an initial warning was issued in December by the South African Foreign Ministry which said alleged violations of international law by soldiers in Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war made them “liable for prosecution in South Africa.”

South Africa filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Netherlands on Dec. 29, alleging that it violated the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.

It asked the world court to issue provisional measures due to the urgency of the situation in Gaza, with hearings on the request held on Jan. 11-12 at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

The ICJ ordered Israel to take all necessary measures to prevent acts defined in Article 2 of the Genocide Convention, to prevent, hinder and punish those calling for genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, to eliminate adverse living conditions by providing essential services and humanitarian aid and to take effective measures to prevent the destruction of evidence showing the violation of the Genocide Convention against Palestinians.

The ICJ also ordered Israel to submit a report on all the measures it had taken within one month from the date of the decision.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas in which 1,163 people were killed.

More than 31,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have since been killed in Gaza and over 73,000 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of most food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.


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