PRESS STATEMENT : South African Government to Israel “stop barbaric attacks on Palestinians”

13 May 2021

The Cabinet of South Africa (made up of South Africa’s President, Deputy President and Ministers) have issued a strong warning to the Israeli regime to “stop the barbaric attacks on Palestinians”. In the last week Israeli airstrikes on the Palestinian Gaza Strip have killed 18 children and more than 60 adults. Today alone, Israel killed an entire family – a husband (Ra’fat al-Tanani, 39), his pregnant wife (Rawya al-Tanani, 36) and their 4 children (Ismail, 7; Adham, 6; Ameer, 5; Mohammed, 4).

In a statement released today, following their meeting held yesterday, South Africa’s Cabinet said:

“[We] strongly condemn the attacks on Palestinian protesters at Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome on the Rock and the unlawful evictions of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh al Jarrah in the annexed East Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlements. Israel’s actions are in stark violation of international law, and a total disregard of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, (UNSC) including Resolutions 446 (1979) and 2334 (2016) which explicitly call for an end to Israeli occupation and the fulfilment of the rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination and independence…Cabinet calls on Israel to stop the barbaric attacks on Palestinians…”

Click here for the full Cabinet Statement.

The human rights organisation #Africa4Palestine welcomes this clear and unequivocal position by the executive of South Africa. Three years ago South Africa withdrew it’s ambassador from Israel and has refused to replace him. This downgrading of diplomatic relations with Israel and increasingly fearless position in support of internationalism, multilateralism and international solidarity is a true representation of the people of South Africa, who in their great numbers, have consistently showed their support for the Palestinian people – a people who once supported us during the struggle against Apartheid.

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa has previously explained: “As long as that struggle persists we will be on the side of the Palestinians…we will always be on the right side because we know what is happening there, its gross apartheid taking place there and we cannot but countenance a situation which is duplicate or replica of what we went through, that we are not going to apologise for.”

#Africa4Palestine, with our partners, will be engaging government with the intention of ensuring that further practical steps of solidarity are taken by government, in light of the “barbaric  attacks on Palestine” and the mass protests which are taking place around the country.


For comment:

Muhammed Desai, Executive Director: +27 (0) 84 211 9988
Tisetso Magama, Spokesperson: +27 (61) 414 6348

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