13 November 2012

South Africa: Nation Calls for Peaceful Resolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi/Flickr
Scores of Israeli army tanks and armored personnel on December 29, 2008 near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip.

Pretoria — The South African government today called for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

South Africa reiterated its call to both parties to ensure a peaceful resolution of conflict and encouraged both parties to refrain from any further hostilities.

Addressing the media in Pretoria, International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said South Africa remained hopeful that a peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine would be achieved through negotiations.

"It is our view that further reprisals emanating from either side will only serve to harden positions on either side and culminate in further violence and the loss of civilian life, thus jeopardising future negotiations," he said.

The Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, which includes the West Bank and Gaza, is seen as the foremost obstacle to peace in the region.

Since Israel captured the territories in 1967, the international community, including the UN and international legal bodies, usually refer to the region as the occupied Palestinian territories, something Palestine had continued to reject.

Earlier this year, the South African government welcomed the reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Hamas.

At the time, it praised the reconciliation in that it had taken place in a climate of on-going regional tensions, a Middle East Peace Process hampered by continuous disagreement and the as yet unfulfilled establishment of a Palestinian State.

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