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    HomeNewsAsiaSouth Africa condemns Israeli attacks on Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque

    South Africa condemns Israeli attacks on Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque

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    The Government of the Republic of South Africa has “noted with concern” the Israeli occupation forces’ assault on Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. In a media statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the government in Pretoria said that it “condemns these violent acts by the Israeli government against the worshippers and calls for calm and the withdrawal of the forces from Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

    At least seven worshippers were injured during the attacks and more than 400 Palestinians were arrested. Most have since been released on condition that they do not enter Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    “The use of stun grenades and tear gas on worshippers is unjust. These actions threaten the internationally agreed status quo in relation to Jerusalem and its sacred sites,” said the department. “The Palestinian Muslim worshippers have a right to practice their religion in peace, without fear or intimidation of the Israeli police. Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to all Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, and they do not require permission or approval from the Israeli government to enter or pray in the Mosque.”

    The South African government pointed out that the Israeli actions “undermine” all peace efforts and may lead to an explosion in the region. “The year 2022 has been described as the deadliest year for Palestinians since the United Nations started tracking fatalities in 2005. More than 200 Palestinians were killed during Israeli attacks last year.” At least 80 Palestinians have already been killed by Israel since the start of 2023.

    READ: South Africa protests against Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque

    Moreover, the South African government noted that “Israel as the occupying power has specific obligations in terms of international human rights and humanitarian law to protect Palestinians. However, the Israeli government continues to breach these obligations with no accountability.” Pretoria “remains unequivocally committed to and values efforts aimed at reviving a political process, leading to ending the occupation so that the human rights of all are secured.”

    South Africa’s Minister for International Relations, Naledi Pandor, was reported as saying in July last year that, “The Palestinian narrative evokes experiences of South Africa’s own history of racial segregation and oppression.” She pointed out that the government in Pretoria believes that Israel should be classified as an apartheid state.



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