President Cyril Ramaphosa has made a compelling call for the “immediate and unconditional opening of humanitarian corridors” to aid civilians entangled in the ongoing Middle East conflict.
The situation escalated in the early hours of Saturday when the militant wing of Hamas initiated a surprise attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. In response, Israel declared war on Hamas, unleashing a torrent of rockets upon Gaza, a densely populated area with nearly two million residents, nearly half of whom are children. The entire population is crammed into a mere 365-square-kilometer area.
The dire situation in Gaza is worsened by the fact that Gazans have been instructed to evacuate, but the only functioning exits are now blocked, leaving them with no escape routes.
Israel has imposed a comprehensive blockade, severing access to essentials such as electricity, water, food, and fuel supplies, further exacerbating the crisis.
Vincent Magwenya, the president’s spokesperson, expressed the president’s heartfelt condolences to the families of victims during this perilous period of conflict. President Ramaphosa is profoundly alarmed by the distressing escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the atrocities committed against innocent civilians.
President Ramaphosa urgently appeals for the “immediate cessation of violence and the exercise of restraint.” He stresses the importance of promptly providing essential humanitarian aid to those in need and alleviating human suffering.