PRETORIA, November 21. /TASS/. Leaders of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have condemned acts of violence in regard to civilians of Palestine and Israel and called for independent investigations into the recent developments in the region, according to the statement of the group’s online summit on Tuesday.
"Acts of violence aimed at Palestinian and Israeli civilians were condemned, including war crimes, indiscriminate attacks and targeting of civilian infrastructure, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement, and destruction," the statement reads.
"We must ensure that independent and transparent investigations are conducted in accordance with international standards," the statement reads.
"We emphasized that civilians must be protected, in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law," according to the statement. "The Chair joined calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians who are being illegally held captive, demanding that their safety, and well-being are guaranteed, and that humane treatment is accorded to them in compliance with international law."
"We stressed the need to pursue accountability. We must ensure that independent and transparent investigations are conducted in accordance with international standards," the statement added.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said opening the BRICS emergency summit that the United Nations Rapid Deployment Forces should be present in Palestine in order to monitor the cessation of hostilities.
"As South Africa, we call for… the deployment of a UN Rapid Deployment Force in Palestine, with a mandate to monitor the cessation of hostilities and protect civilians," Ramaphosa said addressing an extraordinary summit of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) on the situation in the Middle East.
According to Ramaphosa, South Africa, which currently holds the rotating chair in BRICS, also calls for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, the opening of humanitarian corridors and the release of all civilian hostages.
Tensions in the Middle East flared up again on October 7 after militants from the Palestinian group Hamas launched an incursion into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Israel announced a total blockade of Gaza and launched ground operations in the enclave, also carrying out air strikes on targets in the Strip, as well as on certain areas in Lebanon and Syria. Clashes are also taking place in the West Bank.