Jerusalem24 – South Africa strongly condemned the decision taken by the African Union Commission to grant Israel observer status in the bloc.
The South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, Wednesday, that the South African government is shocked by the decision the African Union Commission took this decision unilaterally without consultations with its members.
South Africa, which supports the Palestinian rights, said the decision was most shocking in a year that has seen an escalation of violence in Gaza.
“Israel continues to illegally occupy Palestine in complete defiance of its international obligations and relevant United Nations resolutions,” the statement read. “It is therefore incomprehensible that the African Union Commission chooses to reward Israel at a time when its repression of the Palestinians is clearly more brutal.”
Israel’s observer status became official on July 22, when the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia, Burundi and Chad, Aleli Admaso, met the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Israel has been struggling for a long time to obtain this privilege.
According to the African Union, the meeting included a discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and Faki emphasized that the union has always been very clear that it considers a two-state solution, with two separate states, Israeli and Palestinian, necessary.
However, the South African government said it would request an explanation for all member states in the hope that the decision could be discussed at a higher level.
The statement concluded that “South Africa strongly believes that as long as Israel has no desire to negotiate a peace plan without preconditions, it should not have observer status in the African Union.”