Pretoria - Human rights organisation #Africa4Palestine has welcomed the government’s condemnation and objection to the African Union Commission’s “appalling” decision to allow the Israeli ambassador, Aleli Admasu, in Ethiopia an observer status at the African Union (AU).
“#Africa4Palestine agrees with the SA government that the decision is unjust and unwarranted and, furthermore, is dubious given that it was taken unilaterally without consultations of members,” said the organisation’s executive director, Muhammed Desai.
“As Africa4Palestine we are working with our partners in the South African government and civil society as well as allies in other African countries to ensure that this unilateral, irregular and improper decision is immediately halted and reversed.”
He said in the past, South Africa played a significant role in reversing the decision of the Africa-Israel Summit which was meant to take place in Togo in 2017.
“We fully support the South African government in their demand that the chairperson of the commission provide a briefing to all member states and for an urgent discussion by the executive council and the Assembly of Heads of States and Government,” said Desai.
“Earlier this year, when Israel murdered over 230 Palestinians, including more than 60 children and three pregnant women, the AU Commission’s chairperson condemned the Israeli attacks and reiterated that the Israeli army’s actions, including the continued forced, illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, are in stark violation of international law."
He said Israel has not ended its violations of international law.
"So we wonder what Israel has bribed the AU Commission chairperson with to now change his posture and provide Israel with a free pass," said Desai.
He emphasised that apartheid South Africa was not allowed into international bodies until it ended its violations of human rights.
“Similarly, Israel should not be allowed into the AU or any other body until it ends its violations of international law,” he said.
On Wednesday, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the AU Commission took the decision unilaterally without consulting AU members.
“The decision to grant Israel observer status is even more shocking in a year in which the oppressed people of Palestine were hounded by destructive bombardments and continued illegal settlements of the land. The African Union strenuously objected to the deaths of Palestinians and the destruction of civilian infrastructure,” Monyela said.
Last week, the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia, Burundi and Chad, Aleli Admasu, presented his credentials to AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat at the continental bloc’s headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Monyela said the decision by the AU Commission was inexplicable.
African News Agency (ANA)