South African Government Status on the Arrest of the Palestine Members of Parliament by Israeli Soldiers

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 165

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 26 OF 29 AUGUST 2006

Mr M U KALAKO (ANC) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether the Government has expressed its view on the arrest of Palestine Members of Parliament by Israeli soldiers; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? N1329E

REPLY:

Yes, the South African Government has consistently expressed most recently its commitment to finding a just, comprehensive and lasting peace to the Israeli/Palestine conflict. The Government expressed its view on this matter by condemning the collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza which resulted in the death of innocent civilians, mainly women and children. We also raised a concern on the arbitrary actions of arresting leaders of a democratically elected government. Israelis arrested 39 Palestinian MPs including the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Nasser Shaer and the Secretary General of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Al Ramahi. The South African Government deplored these arrests, which in our view, could only heighten emotions and lead to an escalation of violence in the occupied territories of Palestine, bring hardship to civilians and the destruction of infrastructure.

We believe that a real solution will only be possible if the Palestinians achieve a viable Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by with a secure Israel state.Our Government believes that the current level of violence could only be reduced and finally eliminated once the Israelis and Palestinians resume meaningful talks leading to negotiations aimed at achieving a two state solution. The South African Government has constantly reminded Israel of its responsibility to secure and maintain peace in the region and further called for the release of all the Palestinian leaders, including ordinary citizens, held captive in Israeli jails, and also the release of the Israeli prisoners.





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