A number of foreign leaders accused of overseeing human rights abuses within their respective countries met on Tuesday to condemn Israel for its actions in the war against Hamas, according to The Associated Press.
Putin, Xi and roughly a dozen other foreign leaders, including the three additional members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), met to deliver joint statements on the “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, according to the AP. China, Russia and South Africa have all been credibly accused of widespread human rights abuses and violations of international law by the U.S. and Western allies.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired the Tuesday meeting, accused Israel of committing “genocide” in Gaza.
“The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime,” Ramaphosa said at the meeting, according to the AP. “The deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food and water to the residents of Gaza is tantamount to genocide.”
The South African government and its defense forces have been accused of committing “unlawful or arbitrary killings; torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detention; serious government corruption; trafficking in persons; and crimes,” according to the State Department. The South African government has investigated some of these crimes but let many offenders off with impunity.
China has long supported the Palestinian cause and a two-state solution with Israel and has been hesitant to condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks, according to the AP and Foundation for Defense for Democracies (FDD). Russia condemned the Oct. 7 attacks but has also warned Israel against continuing its counteroffensive in the Gaza Strip.
Russia has been denounced by the U.S. and other Western nations for “numerous war crimes and other atrocities and abuses,” since it began its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, resulting in the deaths of approximately 70,000 Ukrainians, according to the State Department and Reuters. Such atrocities include “execution, torture, rape, indiscriminate attacks, and attacks deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure by Russia’s forces in Ukraine,” according to the State Department.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of committing an ongoing genocide against the Uyghur population and other religious and ethnic minority groups in the Xinjiang province of China, according to the State Department. The U.N. said that China’s treatment of these groups “may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity,” but has stopped short of accusing the CCP of “genocide,” even as a number of Western nations have assigned that label.
In 2022, The U.N. General Assembly passed 15 resolutions condemning Israel compared to six resolutions against Russia and zero against China, according to U.N. Watch. Most of the resolutions passed against Israel criticized the country for not acceding to demands for the creation of a Palestinian state.
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