Ramaphosa welcomes Israel-Hamas deal

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South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the deal between Israel and Hamas for a four-day pause in fighting.

The start of the pause is due to be announced within 24 hours.

As part of the deal, Hamas will free 50 hostages it seized last month; Israel will release about 150 Palestinian prisoners.

In a statement, Mr Ramaphosa said: “As a member of the international community that stands for peace, justice and the rule of international law in all parts of the world, South Africa welcomes the agreement reached.

“It is my hope that the achievement of this pause will strengthen efforts to achieve an outright end to the current conflict.”

South Africa’s government – led by the African National Congress (ANC) – is a long-standing ally of the Palestinians.

It has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by mid-December over Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

The government accuses Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza.

Israel has said that it is acting in self-defence.

It launched a major military operation in Gaza in response to a cross-border attack by Hamas on 7 October, in which at least 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 others taken hostage.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says at least 14,000 people have been killed in the territory since Israel launched its retaliatory campaign.

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