Palestine looks to South Africa to help broker peace after US threats

Palestine is looking to South Africa to help broker peace in the Middle East when it takes up its seat at the all-powerful UN Security Council following “threats” from the US government against the occupied territory.

The Palestinian ambassador to South Africa Hashem Dajani said his government views the United States administration’s decision to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) offices in Washington as a “threat”.

The American government’s State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert made the announcement on Monday, that the Trump administration had decided to terminate the Palestinian mission in Washington because the PLO had not “taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel”.

The move comes just nine months after Trump declared that the US would now treat Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, defying international consensus on the holy city and a United Nations resolution.

The UN voted against Trump’s proposal for Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, but the US government ignored the determination and moved its embassy from the official capital, Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.

South Africa’s department of international relations did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publishing, but Dajani has called the closure of the PLO mission a “threat” by the US government.

“It is really a dangerous escalation to show that the United States is willing to disband the international system in order to protect Israeli crimes,” Dajani said.

“The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale and we will not succumb to United States threats. We will continue our legitimate struggle for freedom, justice and independence by all political and legal means possible,” he continued.

South Africa has always positioned itself in its foreign policy as an ally to Palestine, and advocates for a two-state solution in the region.

Following fatal attacks from Israel on Gaza in May, international relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the government would downgrade its embassy in Israel and withdraw its ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect and “until further notice”.

READ MORE: DA slams government for recalling SA ambassador to Israel

Dajani has praised the South African government for “playing a leading role in international solidarity with the Palestinian people”. In June, South Africa was elected onto the UN Security Council after it was nominated by the Southern African Development Community. The nomination was endorsed by the African Union, and the country was elected to serve on the council for the 2019-2020 term.

Dajani said he hoped the South African government would use its seat to advocate for peace in the Middle East, as well as in the rest of the world.

“Soon, South Africans will occupy [a seat] as a member of the Security Council and surely they will play a constructive role for building peace,” he said. 

Raeesa Pather
Raeesa Pather
Ra’eesa Pather is a Cape Town-based general news and features journalist.
Advertisting

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Despite tweet, Zuma keeps silent about providing his taxpayer information

The Public Protector has still not received confirmation from former president Jacob Zuma that she may access his tax records —...

Ahead of WEF, Mboweni will have to assure investors that...

The finance minister says despite the difficult fiscal environment, structural reforms are under way to put SA on a new growth path
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.