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BRICS Nations Condemn Israel and Hamas

BRICS nations, chaired by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, addressed the escalating situation in the Middle East. The meeting included officials from six nations set to join the bloc in the coming year: Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates.

President Ramaphosa accused both Hamas and Israel of violating international law, particularly condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “war crime” and accusing Hamas of also violating international law through attacks on civilians and taking hostages.

“The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime,” Ramaphosa stated. He emphasized that the deliberate denial of essential resources to Gaza residents is “tantamount to genocide.”

The BRICS bloc, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, urged Israel and Hamas to exercise “maximum restraint” and called for an “immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.”

President Ramaphosa called for the deployment of a UN force to monitor the cessation of hostilities and protect civilians in the region.

In a significant development, Israel and Hamas agreed on a hostage release and a four-day truce, brokered by Qatar, the U.S., and Egypt. This agreement aims to bring relief to war-torn Palestinians in Gaza, where more than 12,000 people, including many women and children, have lost their lives.

The ongoing conflict has intensified political challenges for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Facing criticism over his government’s handling of the war against Hamas, Netanyahu’s approval ratings hit a low point. 

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid called for Netanyahu’s resignation, citing dissatisfaction with the government’s approach.

In their joint statement, the BRICS bloc emphasized that a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be achieved through peaceful means. Russia, a member of the BRICS group, suggested that the emerging nations could play a key role in facilitating a political settlement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin previously proposed Moscow as a potential mediator in the conflict, citing Russia’s relationships with both Israel and the Palestinians.

The situation remains fluid, and the international community continues to monitor developments closely as efforts are made to bring about a lasting and peaceful resolution to the Middle East crisis.

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