South Africa: SA Welcomes Resolution to Investigate Violations, Abuse During Israel-Palestine Conflict

South African demonstrators march to Parliament to protest against Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip (file photo).

South Africa has welcomed the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution to ensure respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem and Israel.

The Council decided to urgently establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry to be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council.

The international commission of inquiry is to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and all alleged violations and abuses of international human rights law leading up to and since 13 April 2021 and all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions.

"The resolution was adopted following a debate at the 30th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem," explained the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

Addressing the Special Session, DIRCO said South Africa lamented the disproportionate tragic loss of so many lives, especially those of children, because of recent vicious attacks against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and East Jerusalem.

"South Africa also affirmed that the protracted Israeli-Palestine conflict is one of an unbalanced power equation, between a nuclear state, as the Occupying Power, and a people with no military power resisting occupation, while striving for the right to self-determination and exercising their basic human rights," the department said.

South Africa has called on the Human Rights Council to hold Israel accountable for its violations of human rights and impunity.

"The continued discriminatory Israeli occupation and annexation policy entrench the balkanisation of the Palestinian territory as an apartheid-style Bantustan, denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination, and impeding peace and a viable two-state solution," the department said.

According to the Council, speakers said people in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank needed their leaders to take courageous steps towards peace.

"Some speakers said that the indiscriminate barrage of rockets fired by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad into Israel were completely unacceptable."

Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, South Africa's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organisation in Geneva, reiterated South Africa and the continent's support to the historic struggle of the Palestinian people quest for an independent and sovereign State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

DIRCO said Nkosi was delivering a statement on behalf of the 47 countries of the Africa Group.

"He emphasised the importance of a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the existence of two States to resolve the longest conflict in recent history and to put an end to the suffering of millions of Palestinians living under occupation," the department added.

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