Picture: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP
Picture: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP

Ramaphosa, political parties condemn violence in Palestine

By Ntombi Nkosi Time of article published May 11, 2021

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Johannesburg - The violence in Palestine has been condemned by various organisations and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said 20 people, including children, were killed by Israeli air strikes launched after Palestinian militant groups fired rockets close to Jerusalem.

On Monday there was an attack on Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadaan.

In his condemnation of the attacks, Ramaphosa said South Africa wanted the international community to intervene.

“We repeat our condemnation, in the strongest possible terms, of the unlawful evictions of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh al Jarrah and the brutal attacks on Palestinian protesters at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock,” said Ramaphosa.

“We reiterate that the expansion of settlements by Israel has already been condemned by the UN and urge the international community to stop Israel from expanding its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and property.”

UDM President Bantu Holomisa on Tuesday told IOL that that the conflict would never end.

“The continued conflict in Israel and Palestine will never end as long as the USA is allowed to veto any UN security resolution against Israel. South Africa at the UN Security Council level should lead the call for a lasting peace. Even if South Africa were to boycott goods from Israel, it will not work given the level of corruption at our borders,” said Holomisa.

The IFP said the states of Israel and Palestine should uphold a human rights-based conflict resolution mechanism and that they should be commit themselves to a peaceful two-state solution, where both states may co-exist.

“The IFP strongly believes that violence is not, and will never, amount to an amicable and peaceful solution to the decades-long conflict between the states of Israel and Palestine. We extend our sincere condolences to all families and persons who have lost a loved one during this past conflict,” said IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

Former minister Ronald Kasrils said the country stands with Palestine.

The South African Zionist Federation national chairperson, Rowan Polovin, said it was extremely unfortunate that Hamas had decided to launch indiscriminate rockets at civilians in areas in Israel, including Jerusalem, which is a holy city to Jews, Muslims and Christians.

“Hamas has chosen to target Israeli civilians with these attacks causing fear and terrible situations on the ground. We call for restraint of Hamas to reduce their rocket fire and to allow for calm.

“They came there to cause violence; Israel’s forces have done everything they possibly can to reduce tensions, to allow for the freedom of worship in Jerusalem, to allow people to celebrate Ramadaan. We call upon the leaders to calm the fires. Israel must do what she can to protect her citizens,” said Polovin.

The Embassy of Israel in South Africa said no country will allow rockets to be fired on its children, women, and men.

“The Palestinian terrorist organisations committed another war crime, launched an indiscriminate attack on a civilian population, and assaulted the holiness of the city of Jerusalem. Israel will take any action necessary to protect its citizens. It is the right and the duty of every state,” said the Embassy in a statement.

The Cape Town Ulama board said they condemned what they called the violence and “atrocities” committed against Palestinians by the “oppressive apartheid Israeli invaders”.

“We are entirely opposed to the brutality and forced evictions of the Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah. This is not just a violation of religious freedom but a violation of human rights. Those in positions of power and influence must condemn and halt all inhumane and criminal acts in Palestine,” said secretary-general Sayed Ridhwaan.

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said Hamas needed to end the rocket attacks "immediately", adding: “All sides need to de-escalate”.

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Political Bureau

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