According to a Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) statement, South Africa is gravely concerned over the recent devastating escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“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,” the department said on Saturday.
The region, according to DIRCO, is in desperate need of a credible peace process that delivers on the calls of a “plethora” of previous United Nations (UN) resolutions for a two-state solution and a just and comprehensive peace between Israel and Palestine.
“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.”
The department believes that the UN resolutions and international law matter.
“The international community cannot avoid its duty to act, and together, we must shoulder the responsibility to remove obstacles to peace and any violations of international law.”
The department said violence, killings, imprisonment, forced removals, illegal settlements, and the continued siege of Gaza are not conducive to resolving the conflict.
“Urgent attention must be given to resolving the final status issues such as borders, the status of Jerusalem, the release of political prisoners, and the right of return.
“No real and lasting peace in Israel, Palestine, and the region is possible in the absence of a just and comprehensive resolution of the conflict. Israelis, Palestinians, and the region do not stand to gain anything from escalated tensions, increased violence, growing instability, and a continued and protracted violent conflict.”
The department has since called on all sides to seize the opportunity for peace as opposed to violence, and for the international community to actively rise on the side of its international resolutions and establish a credible peace process.
“South Africa stands ready to share its experience in mediation and conflict resolution as it has done on the continent and around the world.”