Leaders at a virtual summit of BRICS nations called Tuesday for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” in Gaza and the release of all captive civilians. The original BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — were joined by the coalition’s newest members — Egypt, Ethiopia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran — at Tuesday’s high-level meeting. In contrast to the U.S. and many European nations, the majority of BRICS countries, including China and Russia, have called for a ceasefire. The summit’s host, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, forcefully condemned Israel’s assault on Gaza.
President Cyril Ramaphosa: “The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime. The deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food and water to the residents of Gaza is tantamount to genocide.”
South Africa’s Parliament voted on Tuesday to suspend diplomatic ties with Israel and close its embassy in Pretoria until a ceasefire is reached. Such actions, however, will ultimately be up to President Ramaphosa.