South African Government Position regarding the Gaza Insurgency and the two-or three-State Solution to the Israel-Palestine Conflict

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO:       1052

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 23 OF 29 JUNE 2007

MR A.J. LEON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

1) (a) What is the Government’s position regarding the Gaza insurgency and (b) why does the Government object to the draft proposal to add the Security Council to the international front supporting President Abbas;

2) Whether the Government foresees a two-or three-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict; if so, what are the relevant details?

REPLY:

1) (a) According to the Palestinian Basic Law, the President of the National Authority has the right to declare a state of emergency, to dissolve government and institute an emergency government. This emergency government must however be ratified by two thirds of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) if the President wishes it to continue its tenure longer than 30 days. The South African government has therefore acknowledged the legality of the measures taken by President Abbas and has urged the President and the new Cabinet to take steps to bring about peace and security in Gaza and work towards attaining unity of Gaza and the West Bank. The South African government has also clearly expressed its concern regarding developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and has stated that the military take over of Gaza by Hamas and the wanton destruction of property cannot be justified.

(b) The honourable Leon continues to ask questions not based on any reality  without seeking clarification about international issues that concerns him. The question is premised by false information. The Department of Foreign Affairs is concerned by the trend whereby some international and local actors continuously propagate false information regarding South African policy and positions at the United Nations with respect to the situation in the Middle East. The facts, in this case, were that South Africa did not block any initiative in the United Nations Security Council to endorse President Abbas's decision, as claimed, as there never was such an initiative in the first place.

2) The South African government’s support for a two-State solution to the Middle East crisis in which Israel and Palestine live in peace and security within internationally recognised borders remains unchanged.

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