Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

The African National Congress (ANC) has attributed the recent surge in violence in Palestine and Israel to Israel’s actions. The conflict initially erupted with an unexpected missile strike on Israel by Hamas militants, resulting in hundreds of casualties in both regions.

The ANC and the African Union place the blame on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as the primary driver of escalating tensions. The ANC contends that Palestinian Hamas militants were compelled to respond due to Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory.

ANC spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri stated on Sunday that Palestinian militants had little choice but to escalate violence given Israel’s actions. The ANC has a longstanding commitment to supporting Palestine, drawing parallels between its struggles and South Africa’s past apartheid regime. This has led to a call for humanitarian assistance for the predominantly Muslim nation.

Bhengu-Motsiri emphasized, “It can no longer be disputed that South Africa’s apartheid history is occupied Palestine’s reality. As a result, the decision by Palestinians to respond to the brutality of the settler Israeli apartheid regime is unsurprising.”

She also added, “Israel’s policy of settling its civilians in occupied Palestinian territory and displacing the local population contravenes fundamental rules of international humanitarian law.”

The conflict has resulted in numerous casualties and ongoing violence between Israel’s military forces and Hamas from Saturday to Sunday.

While the South African government has previously adopted a diplomatic approach towards Israel, the ANC has been more vocal in its criticism of Israel’s role in the Gaza Strip. The ANC spokesperson has called for Israel to face increased sanctions from the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the head of the African Union Commission, also emphasized the importance of recognizing the rights of the Palestinian people as a crucial factor in resolving the conflict. He stated, “… [The] denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, particularly that of an independent and sovereign state, is the main cause of the permanent Israeli-Palestinian tension.”

In response, the Israel Embassy in South Africa referred to Hamas militants as kidnappers and terrorists in a tweet.

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