14 May 2021
The South African Government strongly condemns the unjust attacks on civilians by Israel in Gaza and Jerusalem. The continued escalation of attacks by Israel on Palestinians in Gaza is totally unjust and shameful, particularly the targeting of the most vulnerable section of the Palestinian community, children, women and the elderly.
South Africa also urges Israel to stop all planned evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrar area.
Disturbing images of Israel’s ongoing attacks on Palestinians which violates UN resolutions justifies an urgent call for the intervention of the international community and to have the Israeli Government’s conduct investigated and referred to the ICC for crimes against humanity.
The Israeli attacks have so far claimed over 100 casualties which largely are Palestinian women and children.
The South African Government notes and welcomes that Hamas is open to international mediation to discuss ceasefire and de-escalation of the situation as well as to comprehensively address all the issues, causing tension.
Israeli officials have also been reported to have turned down the Egyptian and Qatari mediation offers to mediate a ceasefire with Hamas. The reason being that Israel feels the time is not right for a ceasefire as it wants to continue its unjust attacks on Palestinians.
South Africa calls on all countries in the Middle East to respond positively to the Arab League’s foreign ministers plan to immediately convene an emergency meeting aimed at mediation. We also call on the UNSC and quartet to convene an urgent meeting between Israel and Palestine to discuss the peace process without any pre-conditions.
The South African Government remains unequivocally committed to and values efforts aimed at reviving a political process, leading to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel within internationally recognised borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in compliance with all relevant UN Resolutions, international law and internationally agreed on parameters.
South Africa reiterates that any peace plan should not allow Palestinian statehood to devolve into an entity devoid of sovereignty, territorial contiguity and economic viability. In this regard, a solution must be premised on a just settlement with just laws that are rights-based and that facilitates equality and equity for all who have a right to live in the territories of Israel and Palestine. This includes sovereign equality between States.
South Africa therefore strongly condemns the unjust attacks by Israel on Palestinian civilians and calls on Israel to immediately stop all its hostilities and comply with international law.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION