As South Africa courageously stepped forward to seek justice for the heinous crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians, the world expected a glimmer of hope and a sliver of righteousness to prevail. However, like a cruel joke played on humanity itself, we find ourselves faced with yet another shocking twist. How can justice be so brutally attacked? Is there no end to the injustice suffered by those who have already endured unimaginable pain and loss?

By Themba Khumalo

In this cruel and twisted narrative, the true victims of injustice are brutally silenced as Israel’s hubris takes centre stage. With a brazen disregard for humanity, Israel’s actions reach new heights of arrogance, leaving a bitter taste of betrayal in the mouths of those seeking truth and accountability.

As the world watches in horror, South Africa’s pursuit of justice for genocide is callously sideswiped by Israel’s malevolent and cunning tactics, shattering the hopes of countless victims yearning for their day of peace.

The darkness looms heavily over Gaza, where justice teeters on the edge of despair and the righteous fight for truth becomes a battle not only against oppressive forces but against an implacable evil determined to silence the cries of the oppressed.

In this gut-wrenching story of power and deceit, a glimmer of hope emerges like a beacon in the darkness. The relentless and compassionate media, free from the shackles of Western influence, are steadfastly uncovering these cunning ploys and wielding their potent words to unveil the truth behind Israel’s murderous actions. With unwavering resolve, they are determined to expose the web of lies and manipulation that fuels this nation’s toxic narrative.

The stakes are high, for Israel’s deflections have not only derailed accountability but have also tainted the lens through which Western media perceives reality. Israel, which is known for shifting responsibility and influencing the gullible Western media with unfounded allegations, has accused twelve United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) employees of being involved in the attacks on October 7.

Despite the International Court of Justice’s clear instruction to stop blocking humanitarian aid, the Zionist regime has chosen to intensify its despicable diplomatic campaign against UNRWA. It is absolutely absurd and infuriating how the conversation in Western nations, except those in the Global South and East, completely changed when the United States, at the instruction of Israel, callously decided to cease all funding to the relief agency! As if that wasn’t enough, twelve other so-called “allies” shamelessly followed suit.

Let me ask, what did the International Court of Justice do about this blatant disregard for humanitarian aid? It issued an order to Israel, instructing them to stop blocking the delivery of aid. But did Israel listen? Oh no! Instead, they have launched a despicable smear campaign against UNRWA and even permitted racist civilian protesters to physically block the very aid that innocent lives desperately need. This is an outrage! The United Nations has already warned about an impending famine, yet Israel shamelessly continues with its heartless actions.

UNRWA was established in 1949 to provide aid to displaced Palestinians in regions such as the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The organization focuses on education, healthcare, relief services, infrastructure, and emergency response. It is primarily funded through voluntary contributions, heavily relying on support from the European Union, the United States, Germany, and Sweden, among others.

However, recent cuts in funding from Western nations, including the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Finland, have significantly impacted UNRWA’s ability to carry out its essential aid work.

Following the ICJ rulings, the Gaza Strip’s leading humanitarian organisation, responsible for the well-being of around 1.2 million displaced Palestinians fleeing from Israeli military operations, has faced intense scrutiny.

Allegations that UNRWA employed individuals associated with terrorist activities have sparked calls for its dissolution. However, it’s important to consider how other organisations handle similar situations, such as when a police force hires a member of a criminal gang, or a school hires a paedophile. Typically, these organisations terminate the employment of the individual in question, take legal action if necessary, and review their hiring procedures. UNRWA has followed a similar approach in response to these allegations.

The recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) requiring Israel to take concrete actions to prevent the ongoing and credible risk of genocide in Gaza has been largely overlooked. Despite having less than a month to report back to the court on its progress, the focus has shifted to the events of October 7 and the alleged involvement of 12 former employees. The disproportionate emphasis on these events, as opposed to the significant loss of over 150 UNRWA employees in the conflict, highlights the unequal representation in current media coverage.

The Israeli government, especially its far-right leadership, has been attacking UNRWA for a long time. The official rationale for this focus is the claim that the U.N. agency functions as a cover for Hamas. However, the underlying, less openly stated reason is the Israeli leadership’s resistance to recognising Palestinians as refugees under international law, as it implies a potential claim to occupied land that Israel intends to annex.

On January 4, during a debate in the Israeli parliament, Noga Arbell, a former Israeli foreign ministry official, emphasized that achieving victory in the war would not be possible without getting rid of UNRWA, and called for its immediate elimination.

Arbell’s blunt declaration and her call for the dismantling of UNRWA positioned the agency as a major barrier in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Amplifying Israeli imperialist rhetoric, Arbell said: “It will be impossible to win the war if we do not destroy UNRWA, and this destruction must begin immediately.”

 “Let us remember, UNRWA operates here, in territories that Israel conquered in 1967, at the request of Israel to do so. Israel can now ask it to stop,” she said.

“UNRWA’s duties must be abandoned. Or, they must go to hell,” she added.

Israeli far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir during his speech at a conference that was held the past weekend, (Conference for the Victory of Israel – Settlement Brings Security: Returning to the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria), said: “If we don’t want another October 7, we need to go back home and control [Gaza]. We need to find a legal way to voluntarily emigrate [Palestinians] and impose death sentences on terrorists.”

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi unpacked Ben-Gvir’s “voluntary emigration” of Palestinian civilians from Gaza, by saying, “Voluntary is at times a state you impose [on someone] until they give their consent.”

In a news report published on 29 December 2023 stated: “Israel is hoping to push the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, out of the Gaza Strip post-war, Channel 12 reported, citing a high-level, classified Foreign Ministry report.

“According to the report, the document recommends three stages to the move. The first involves a comprehensive report on alleged UNRWA cooperation with Hamas, which rules Gaza, and the entanglement of the UN body that provides welfare and humanitarian services for Palestinian refugees from the 1948 and 1967 wars and their descendants, with the terror group.

“The next stage would see reduced UNRWA operations in the Palestinian enclave, amid a search for a different organization to provide education and welfare services. In the third stage, according to the report, all of UNRWA’s duties would be transferred to the body governing Gaza following the war.”

The countries that took offence at South Africa for taking Israel to the ICJ are now actively assisting Israel in disbanding UNRWA, thus contributing to the destruction of the Palestinian nation.

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