The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has called for peace in the Israeli-Palestine following the latest conflict that has killed hundreds of people on both sides.
The department said a long-lasting solution was needed and this can only be achieved through a two-state solution.
It said the latest conflict was sparked by the continued expansion of the Israeli settlements on Palestine land.
“The new conflagration has arisen from the continued illegal occupation of Palestine land, continued settlement expansion, desecration of the Al Aqsa mosque and Christian holy sites, and ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people,” said the department.
“South Africa, working together with the international community, seeks to ensure a lasting and durable peace that produces a viable, contiguous Palestinian State, existing side-by-side in peace with Israel, within the 1967 internationally recognised borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
Palestine lobby groups in South Africa said the conflict was because of Israel’s settlement expansion programme and attacks launched against Palestinians for years and the world has been silent on the alleged atrocities.
They said Israel has for decades violated every single UN resolution and attacked Palestine.
But Israeli groups in the country said the attack by Hamas was unjustified and has escalated tensions in the region.
No amount of grievance against the Israeli government policy could justify the large-scale attack on the State of Israeli, said the South African Zionist Federation.
The Hamas office in South Africa said the attack was because of Israel’s policy of aggression against Palestinians.
Hamas’s official representative in South Africa Emad Saber said this was a resistance against the occupation of Palestine.
He said Israel has been engaged in a policy of killing Palestinians including innocent civilians.
Hamas and Palestinian people have taken a stand against the Israeli government, he said.
The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign said Israel has been occupying the land of Palestine for 75 years.
“Over the past seven decades, Israel has brutalised the Palestinian people, stealing Palestinian land, homes, and even culture. The medieval-like siege on Gaza has been in place for almost 20 years, the attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank have been ongoing and intensifying, including the constant incursions into Al Aqsa, harassment of Palestinian Christians, targeting Palestinian journalists and health workers, home invasions and demolitions in Jerusalem and denial of Palestinian rights within 48 territories,” said the campaign.
The Al-Quds Foundation said Palestinians have a right to defend themselves after being under attack from Israel for many years.
It said the blockade in Gaza has created a humanitarian crisis. It said Palestine has a right to defend itself under international law.
The Media Review Network said the attack on Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad should not come as a surprise as Tel Aviv has been subjecting Palestinians to attacks and other forms of humiliation for decades.
It said the fact that such an attack happened points to intelligence failure on the side of Israel.
The South African Zionist Federation described the attack on Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad as unprovoked attack.
It said the large-scale attack on Israel was not justified as innocent people were killed.