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Pandor said the world should stand up and object to what is being committed against Palestinians in Gaza by Israel.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Naledi Pandor said colleagues have described the scale of the humanitarian tragedy that is engulfing Gaza as an “unprecedented tragedy”.

Pandor was speaking on Wednesday during the follow-up to the International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population on Gaza which is currently underway, virtually.

Watch Minister of Foreign Affiair Naledi Panfor speaking about the need for humanitarian aid in Gaza

Ceasefire

Pandor said the world should stand up and object to what is being committed against Palestinians in Gaza by Israel.

“We maintain as South Africa that an immediate durable and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza is urgently necessary and world leaders must stand up and insist that that should happen.

“We have made a modest contribution for support to humanitarian aid following calls by the secretary general of the United Nations, we urge all member states to similarly contribute where they can,” Pandor said.

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Israel blocking aid

Pandor said there is concern that Israel is blocking much-needed aid to Palestinians who urgently need it.

“We call on all of us as an international community to ensure that Israel allows full access for all humanitarian supplies destined for the people of Gaza.

“We call on all who have joined this meeting to condemn all targeting of civilian including women and children, civilian infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, clinics, medical personnel, UN workers… and all which are protected under international humanitarian law,” Pandor said.

Pandor said South Africa has also made a referral on genocide to the relevant UN institutions.

Conference

The follow-up conference is convened and chaired by Catherine Colonna, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs. 

Participants included the United Nations organisations – UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths – and of the ICRC, NGOs and the countries that took part in the 9 November conference, chaired by President Macron and devoted to humanitarian aid for Gaza’s civilians. 

The key objectives of the conference are, to ensure the monitoring of the financial announcements made on 9 November, which amounted to €1 billion, to identify operational solutions to increase the volume of aid and ensure it is delivered continuously, and to bolster coordination between the humanitarian stakeholders.

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