Sunday 26 March 2023

South African official calls for Israel to be declared an ‘apartheid state’

South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said Tuesday that Israel should be classified as an apartheid state and that the United Nations General Assembly should establish a committee to verify whether it satisfied its requirements, Al Jazeera reported.

"The Palestinian narrative evokes experiences of South Africa's own history of racial segregation and oppression," she added. The comments and accusations were reportedly made at the second meeting of the Palestinian Heads of Mission in Africa, held in Pretoria, one of South Africa's capital cities.


The first Palestinian embassy in South Africa opened in 1995. A statement on the South African government website echoes Pandor's statement: "Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, South Africa has always been an ally of Palestine and has constantly highlighted the struggles of the Palestinian people, supported them on international platforms, and offered material assistance within its capacity."


Pandor was the first representative of the government to denounce the killing of Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in May during a raid in the West Bank. At the time, she compared the violent disruption at Abu Akleh's funeral procession by Israeli police to the brutality of the South African apartheid military.


Pandor’s remarks of Israeli apartheid comes in the aftermath of three human rights reports earlier this year which charged that Israel – in its control of the territory from the river to the sea, including the West Bank and Gaza – should be considered a regime that committed the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people.


The latest report in February by Amnesty International alleged that Israel has been guilty of this crime since its inception in 1948, based on its independent legal analysis. Amnesty rejected charges that in so doing it was criminalizing Israel’s identity as an ethnic nationalist state.

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