Pandor requests extra security from Cele amid threats after Israel genocide case
Minister says her family has been threatened in social media messages but she refuses to be intimidated
International relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor says she requested strengthened security for herself and her family after receiving threatening messages when SA accused Israel of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the war in Gaza.
Pandor revealed this while speaking to the media in Cape Town during the state of the nation address (Sona) on Thursday.
“I spoke to [police] minister [Bheki] Cele because of messages I was getting, and I felt it would be better to have extra security. What I am more concerned about is my family because in some social media messages my children are mentioned,” she said.
Without sharing details about the threatening messages, the minister said: “The Israeli agents, intelligence agencies, [this] is how they behave. They seek to intimidate you. We must not be intimidated.”
She said the SA government would continue with the legal challenge.
“The people of the world and of Palestine didn’t draw back when the apartheid state was at its worst; they stood with the liberation movement. We cannot back down now. We must be with them. One of the things we must not allow is the failure of courage. It is extremely important we continue with this,” said Pandor.
SA applied to the world court to make an order for the suspension of military operations in Gaza and to stop killings, arguing Israel has committed genocide against Palestinian people after the attacks by Hamas in Israel on October 7.
The ICJ ordered that Israel ensure immediate provision of basic services and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and ensure its military does not commit any acts of genocide.
Since government started the legal challenge against Israel, there have been diplomatic tensions between the two countries. Spokesperson for the Israeli foreign affairs ministry Lior Haiat accused the SA government of protecting Hamas.
“South Africa, which is functioning as the legal arm of the Hamas terrorist organisation, utterly distorted the reality in Gaza after the October 7 massacre and completely ignored the fact that Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel [and] murdered, executed, massacred, raped and abducted Israeli citizens, simply because they were Israelis, in an attempt to carry out genocide,” Haiat said on January 11 2024 in a statement.
In its application to the court, SA said it condemned the violations of international law by all parties, including the direct targeting of Israeli civilians and other nationals, as well as the hostage-taking by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.
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