The South African Government says it remains “gravely concerned” at the intention of Israel to proceed with its unilateral action to annex strategic areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) in the West Bank and Jordan Valley, from 1 July 2020.
Israel’s annexation plans represent a unilateral negation of the two-state solution, and are opposed by most countries in the region and internationally, said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in a press statement on Tuesday 30 June.
Annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law, undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations, intensify tensions and further hamper efforts to advance regional peace and to maintain international peace and security, said DIRCO. It will also have serious diplomatic, security, economic, social, and legal repercussions.
“In line with South Africa’s constitutional mandate and foreign policy priorities, our country continues to stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine in the wake of Israeli aggression,” said DIRCO in the statement.
“We reaffirm our committed support to the Palestinian independence struggle for achieving freedom from the Israeli illegal occupation.”
DIRCO added: “If Israel continues to implement its unilateral plan, it will effectively result in the illegal annexation of thirty percent of the land of the occupied West Bank. Palestinians would be left with nothing more than a “Bantustan,” ending all hopes for an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state.”
South Africa is calling on the global community and relevant bodies to intervene and actively oppose Israel’s annexation plan and prevent its implementation, which SA says would pre-empt peaceful solutions to the conflict.
“South Africa denounces any unilateral annexation and urges Israel to reconsider its act of belligerence that would violate the principle of territorial integrity, and to honour its international obligations to secure peace and security,” the press statement said.
South Africa says it is determined to continue working with the international community to launch a credible, time-bound, multilaterally-sponsored political process to resolve the issue of the Palestinian cause on the basis of international law, international legitimacy and agreed terms of reference, as well as the vision of a two-state solution based on the 4 June 1967 borders.
“In this regard, South Africa will continue to support concrete and genuine efforts towards achieving this just and lasting solution, which we believe will greatly contribute to peace, justice and stability in the region,” said DIRCO.
Source: Department of International Relations and Cooperation