In what was described as a step in the right direction for the recognition of Palestine’s self-determination, the Pan African Parliament (PAP) has granted the territory an observer status. The PAP also endorsed a motion to support the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, currently detained in the Israeli prisons.
The Middle East conflict continues in Israel and its neighbouring Palestine.
Palestinian activists fighting for the self-determination from Israel have embarked on a hunger strike since 17 April to force Israel to release them from detentions.
The PAP has now followed the African Union by granting the territory observer status, a move welcomed by the Palestinians as positive news for their course.
“It was a strong platform to deliver a message to the occupiers that the international community, particularly Africa will not accept the occupation, will support self-determination and the freedom for the people,” says Palestine Ambassador Hashem Dajani.
African MPs are hopeful the gesture will go a long way in their support for eventual independence for the Palestinians.
“It’s a victory, but most of all, we consider it a double victory because we as Tunisian delegation, the MP’s took an initiative to present a motion to support the Palestinian prisoners in Israel,” says Tunisian Ambassador Narjes Dridi.
Head of the SA delegation Dr Hunadi Mateme says Palestinians must be free.
“While we support granting of observer status to the Palestine, they must be free, they must be able to come up with their own policies, their own constitution, whatever governance system they want. This cannot happen while some of them are in prison.”
Dr Mateme is optimistic that though it may take a while, Palestine as South Africa did in 1994, will soon join the nations of the world as a free nation.
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– By Montlenyane Diphoko