Practice Relating to Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need
Section B. Impediment of humanitarian relief
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including in international armed conflicts: “intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by … wilfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions”.
In 2010, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa stated: “In the case of the occupied Palestinian territories, my delegation strongly urges that the blockade be lifted in order to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, in accordance with the principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence.”
In 2012, in a statement on the Palestinian/Israeli situation, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa stated: “South Africa continues to strongly oppose the blockade of Gaza, its inaccessibility with respect to humanitarian aid, and the general dire humanitarian and human rights situation that this causes.”