President calls for two-State solution to end Israel’s war on Gaza

President Cyril Ramaphosa has once again used his public platform to reiterate his call for a two-State solution between Israel and Palestine and condemn the killing of civilians. 'Guided by the fundamental principle of human rights and freedom, we have taken up the Palestinian cause to prevent further deaths and destruction in Gaza,' President Ramaphosa said during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday night. The country's first citizen also took the time to welcome the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Israel must take all measures within its power to prevent acts of genocide against Palestinians. South Africa approached the top UN court last year to request to order Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza, and also to ask the court to find the Israeli government guilty of committing acts of genocide. The ICJ ruling delivered last month found that it was 'plausible' that Israel committed acts which violated the Genocide Convention. The ruling issued by the ICJ ordered six provisional measures, including for Israel to refrain from acts under the Genocide Convention, prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to genocide, and take immediate and effective measures to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. 'We condemn the killing of civilians on all sides and call on all parties involved in the conflict to commit to a peace process that will deliver a two-state solution. 'Today, every South African can hold their heads high, confident that we have assumed our rightful place on the world stage,' President Ramaphosa said. The Head of State said South Africa remains committed to playing a constructive role on the continent and around the globe for the realisation of a better Africa and world. 'We will continue to play an important role in silencing the guns throughout our continent.' During his televised address, he said government's involvement in resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict through the Africa Peace Initiative is pro gressing with various parties. 'We engage in these peace efforts because we believe that even the most intractable conflicts can be brought to an end through negotiations.' In addition, he said the country will continue to use its foreign policy to pursue developmental goals. 'During our leadership of BRICS last year, we witnessed a new chapter for the BRICS family of countries.' President Ramaphosa labelled the expansion of the group from five to 10 members as an opportunity for trade and a strengthening of political and diplomatic ties between countries in the global South. 'We will build on the progress we have made in establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, which will transform South Africa's economy and that of the continent by creating new jobs and increasing economic participation.' The President also vowed that the country will place Africa's development at the top of the agenda when South Africa hosts the G20 in 2025. 'The achievements over the last three decades are a testament to the power of collaboration and partnership to address our most pressing challenges.' Source: South African Government News Agency