The South African Government Statement on the ending of the Israeli Moratorium on continued settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian West Bank
The South African Government has noted with serious concern that the partial moratorium imposed by the Israeli Government in November 2009 on the further construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank has not been renewed. The ten-month Israeli moratorium, which expired on 26 September 2010, was not renewed despite the resumption of direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, which was officially launched on 2 September 2010, in Washington.
The halting of settlement construction is seen by the South African Government as a commitment already agreed to by Israel during preceding peace negotiations, including at the Annapolis international Middle East Peace Conference, which took place in November 2007 and in which South Africa participated.
The continued building of new settlements threatens to halt negotiations between Palestine and Israel, as Palestinian President Abbas has repeatedly made it clear that in the absence of a halt to settlement construction, he would not continue with the negotiations.
The first few rounds of direct Israeli-Palestinian talks held during September 2010 appeared to have demonstrated a clear intention by both parties to effectively move the peace process forward. The South African Government accordingly calls on the Israeli Government to honour its previous international commitments by putting an end to all further settlement construction in the Palestinian West Bank indefinitely. In so doing it will demonstrate its serious intention to bring about the establishment of a viable and fully independent Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel within internationally recognised borders.
For more information, call Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi, Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, at +27 82 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
460 Soutpansberg Road
1 October 2010