South African Government Policy on a negotiated Two State Settlement between Palestine and Israel with Secure Borders

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 126

MR D H M GIBSON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) Whether the policy of the Government remains in favour of a negotiated two state settlement between Palestine and Israel with secure borders for each of them; if not, why not; if so; what are the relevant details

REPLY:

Yes. The South African Government remains in favour of a two state solution for Palestine and Israel. South Africa's policy on the Middle East Peace Process is informed by the following principles:

(1) The inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence, which entails a principled position against the military occupation of the Palestinian people and their land

(2) The right of both the peoples of Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace in their own states, within internationally recognised borders.

(3) A belief that there can be no military solution to the conflict and that peaceful negotiation is the only means of ensuring lasting peace, security and stability; and

(4) A commitment to multilateralism in order to secure a sustainable solution and a rules-based international order.

This commitment to multilateralism and respect for the role of the United Nations (UN) in furthering global peace and security entails that our policy on the Middle East Peace Process is based in all the relevant UN Security Council resolution, including UNSC resolution 242, 338, 1397 and 1515 (the Quartet Road Map) as well as the Oslo frame of reference. South Africa takes note, however, that (a) the role of the Quartet and the Road Map is increasingly being interrogated by Palestinians, international civil society and critics of American dominance, and (b) such the Quartet take the legitimacy away from the UN.

South Africa's support for the two-state solution, as opposed to unitary state, does not ignore the serious implications that the construction of the Separation Wall - partly being built on the 1949 West Bank Armistice line (Green Line), but mostly inside the occupied West Bank - has for Palestinian state building. Israel's continued construction of the Separation Wall runs contrary to the will of the international community, as reflected in UNGA Resolution A/ES - 10 /L.10 of 21 October 2003. The South Africa Government does not believe the construction of the Separation Wall represents a legitimate security measure. The Separation Wall, with a total projected length of 700 kilometres, twice the length of the Green Line, will effectively become a de facto border. In this regard, South Africa presented a written legal argument to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and also participated in the oral deliberations in The Hague on 23 February 2004.


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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa