The BRICS group of countries, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, on Tuesday urged an immediate and sustained humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The virtual meeting, hosted by South Africa, was aimed at formulating a collective response to the Israel-Hamas conflict. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accused Israel of war crimes and “genocide” in Gaza, condemning the “unlawful use of force” and depriving Gaza residents of essential resources, news agency AFP reported.
“We called for an immediate, sustainable and sustained humanitarian ceasefire, leading to an end to hostilities,” the BRICS grouping said in a summary of the meeting, quoted by AFP. The leaders expressed strong support for regional and international efforts for an immediate cessation of hostilities, ensuring the protection of civilians, and the provision of humanitarian assistance.
The conflict intensified after Hamas gunmen killed about 1,200 people, mainly civilians, in cross-border attacks on 7 October, prompting Israel to launch a bombing campaign and ground attacks. According to Hamas, more than 13,300 people, including thousands of children, have been killed in the conflict.
Denial of medicine, food, water to Gaza ‘amounts to genocide’: South African President
South African President Ramaphosa condemned Israel’s actions, saying, “The mass punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime. The deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food and water to Gaza residents is a war crime.” are equal.” Massacre.”
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday that a ceasefire agreement with Israel was in sight, with talks to free the hostages at the “closest point” to a deal, according to Qatari mediators, AFP reported. Is.
Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the need for a long-term diplomatic solution to the Palestinian–Israeli conflict and proposed an “International Peace Conference” to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reportedly condemned the Hamas attacks and hostage-taking as “barbaric acts”, but cautioned against the use of “indiscriminate and disproportionate force against civilians”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a “long-term and durable ceasefire” to prevent other states from becoming involved in the conflict.
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Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stressed the importance of addressing the concerns of the Palestinian people through a “serious and durable” two-state solution based on peaceful co-existence.
BRICS sees itself as a counterweight to the US and Western-led global order.
The summit included representatives from Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, the countries set to join BRICS in January 2024. South Africa, a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause, recently recalled all its diplomats from Israel and joined four other countries in demanding an International Criminal Court investigation into the conflict. In response, Israel recalled its ambassador to Pretoria for consultations.
The summit coincides with talks on the ongoing conflict between the foreign ministers of the Palestinian Authority, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
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