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Friday, April 12, 2024

Erdogan visits Egypt as South Africa knocks ICJ amidst Rafah destruction

South Africa's request to the court includes calls for immediate action to halt civilian casualties and destruction in Rafah, emphasizing the urgency of the situation given the mounting death toll in Gaza.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Cairo on Wednesday for discussions with his Egyptian counterpart aimed at garnering support for escalating calls to cease Israel’s ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip against Hamas. Erdogan’s visit marks a significant milestone as relations between Ankara and Cairo are gradually improving after years of strained ties. Historically, Turkey has been a staunch supporter of the pan-Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, a group deemed a terrorist organization in Egypt.

Prior to his visit to Egypt, Erdogan had held talks in the United Arab Emirates with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In Cairo, Erdogan met with President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at the Ittihadiya palace, where discussions focused on bilateral relations and addressing regional challenges, particularly the urgency of ending the Gaza conflict.

This trip marks Erdogan’s first visit to Cairo in over a decade, symbolizing a potential thaw in relations. Relations between Egypt and Turkey soured following the ousting of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, by the Egyptian military in 2013, amid widespread protests against his rule.

South Africa knocks ICJ

Meanwhile, South Africa has made an urgent plea to the International Court of Justice regarding Israel’s military operations in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. The South African government has expressed concern that Israel’s actions in Rafah, including plans for a ground offensive, could violate the court’s provisional orders and the U.N. Genocide Convention. Rafah, bordering Egypt, has become a refuge for a significant portion of Gaza’s population, prompting warnings of a humanitarian catastrophe if further violence ensues.

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South Africa’s request to the court includes calls for immediate action to halt civilian casualties and destruction in Rafah, emphasizing the urgency of the situation given the mounting death toll in Gaza. Despite previous allegations of genocide against Israel and calls for a ceasefire, the court has yet to issue conclusive rulings on these matters.

Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has resulted in widespread devastation, with a significant number of civilian casualties and displacement. While Israel claims to be targeting militants in retaliation for attacks on southern Israel, South Africa has accused Israel of disregarding international rulings by continuing to harm civilians.