Johannesburg – Several African leaders have called on Israel to immediately halt hostilities against Palestinians in Gaza.
African Union Chairperson Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat condemned Israel’s rocket attacks in Gaza and its violent actions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the end of Ramadan.
“Israel’s actions, including the continued forced, illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, are in stark violation of international law and further heighten tensions in the region, complicating the search for a just and lasting solution,” he said
Namibian Ministry of International Relations called on Israeli forces to stop all acts of violence against Palestinians, and reaffirmed Windhoek’s support for the people of Palestinian.
“Namibia expresses concern about the possible evictions and condemns the violence exercised by the Israeli police during the past days against Palestinian demonstrators and the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, assaulting peaceful worshippers,” said the ministry.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said unless the root causes of a conflict are addressed, in this case the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and denial of rights to Palestinians, the region would not know peace.
“The latest violence was sparked by an Israeli court decision to evict a group of families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlements. The sight of men, women and children being evicted from the homes their families have lived in for generations brings back painful collective and personal memories for the majority of South Africans of forced removals and land dispossession.
“For all who believe in equality, justice and human rights, we cannot but be moved and indeed angered, at the pain and humiliation being inflicted on the Palestinian people; for it echoes our own. Israel’s actions are a violation of international law. They show a total disregard for successive United Nations Security Council resolutions that call for an end to the occupation of Palestinian land and for the fulfillment of the rights of the Palestinian people,” President Ramaphosa said.
He added that South Africa was prepared to be part of an international peace initiative.
Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr Martin Kimani, said: “We are concerned that this latest bout of violence, and particularly its touching on religious sites, will fan extremism and hatred, and that this will lead to the further erosion of the moderate middle ground on which the tough compromises required for lasting peace can be made.”
Somalian Foreign Affairs Minister Balal Mohamed Osman slammed the murder of civilians.
“Somalia condemns the introduction of the Israel forces invading Al-Aqsa Mosque and their attacks against the Palestinian people who cannot defend themselves,” he said in a statement.
The government of Somalia called on the international community to act urgently to stop the atrocities being committed against Palestinians as hundreds of Somalis organized marches across the country chanting that the Somalis, “stand with Palestine.”
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move that has never been recognised by the broad international community.