President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged South Africa’s support for the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination and resistance against the deprivation of their human rights.
In his weekly letter, Ramaphosa says with experience of a democratic transition, the country is committed to assist in reviving a political process that will lead to the peaceful establishment of a viable Palestinian state existing side-by-side with Israel.
“As South Africa, we are committed to being part of international efforts aimed at reviving a political process that will lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state existing side-by-side in peace with Israel, and within internationally recognised borders,” the President says.
His message comes amidst the escalating violence, including Israel’s recent assault on worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. President Ramaphosa has drawn parallels between the eviction of Palestinians from their land with the forced removal and dispossession of Black South Africans under apartheid.
“The sight of men, women, and children being evicted from the homes their families have lived in for generations brings back painful collective and personal memories for the majority of South Africans – of forced removals and land dispossession. It was a pain and humiliation faced by my own family, and by many South African families. My family was forcibly moved to different parts of the country on two occasions,” he says.
President Ramaphosa says the continued Israeli bombardment of Gaza will have devastating consequences:
He says Israel’s actions are a violation of international law. “They show a total disregard for successive United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions that call for an end to the occupation of Palestinian land and for the fulfillment of the rights of the Palestinian people. ”
According to the President, a two-state solution remains the most viable option for the people of Israel and Palestine and must continue to be supported.
Ramaphosa says South Africans know intractable conflicts can only be solved through peaceful negotiation and dealing with the root causes.