18 July 2014
SA condemns Israel’s ground invasion of the Gaza Strip
The South African Government strongly condemns the launch on 17 July 2014 of the ground invasion of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Defence Force.
South Africa is gravely concerned that the illegal ground invasion, which had been rejected by the international community, will continue the endless killing of innocent Palestinian civilians, especially the vulnerable groups – the elderly, women and children.
The disproportionate killing by the Israeli forces has to date resulted in the death of more than 250 Palestinians with almost 2000 civilians injured. The senseless invasion will also see the further destruction of civilian property and infrastructure.
The Israeli Defence Force must immediately withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories. The invasion of the Gaza Strip will stand in the way of rebuilding Palestinian institutions and infrastructure that has been destroyed thus far.
South Africa equally condemns the continuing firing of rockets by Hamas into Israel putting lives of innocent civilians at risk. Both parties must end all forms of aggression towards one another.
The South African Government is opposed to any attempt to use the current situation to undermine the Unity Government in Palestine whose advent was warmly welcomed by peace-loving people the world over.
On 16 July 2014, the South African Government, through Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa, urged the Israeli Government not to undertake the ground invasion as it would constitute a violation of international law.
South Africa therefore strongly urges both Israel and Hamas to work towards a ceasefire agreement, which will be the basis for the resumption of negotiations towards a permanent resolution to the conflict – a two-state solution of a viable Palestine existing side-by-side and in peace with Israel.
Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road