South Africa says all states must stop funding Israel's military

World Court rules on Gaza emergency measures in Israel genocide case, in The Hague

By Anait Miridzhanian and Nellie Peyton

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -All states have an obligation to stop funding and facilitating Israel's military actions in Gaza after the World Court made clear those actions could be genocidal, South Africa's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide and take steps to improve the humanitarian situation of Palestinians in Gaza, in a case brought by South Africa.

It stopped short of demanding a ceasefire and has not yet ruled on the core of South Africa's case, whether genocide has occurred in Gaza. That ruling could take years.

South Africa has for decades been an advocate for the Palestinian cause, comparing the plight of Palestinians to that of Black South Africans under apartheid. Israel has denied allegations of genocide and rejects the comparison to the apartheid era.

Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor also said she had met the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week to discuss a joint referral South Africa made in November with other countries about the situation in the Palestinian territories.

"I asked him why he was able to issue an arrest warrant for Mr Putin and is unable to do so for the prime minister of Israel. He ... did not answer that question. But I read into some of what he said that the investigations are still under way," Pandor told reporters.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in March, accusing him of overseeing the illegal deportation of children from Ukraine.

Russia, like Israel, does not recognise the ICC's jurisdiction, and has rejected its allegations.Pandor said the ICJ ruling "makes it clear that it is plausible that genocide is taking place against the Palestinian people in Gaza. This necessarily imposes an obligation on all states to cease funding and facilitating Israel's military actions."

(Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian and Nellie PeytonEditing by Alexander Winning, Barbara Lewis, William Maclean)