Media Statement

11 December 2014

Statement on the murder of Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein

At midday, on International Human Rights Day, Mr Ziad Abu Ein, Minister and Head of the Commission against the Wall and Colonisation was killed.  Minister Abu Ein was reportedly leading a group of 150 peaceful activists on a mission to plant olive trees on Palestinian land already earmarked for illegal Israeli occupation.  After failing to stop the activists with teargas and other methods, Israeli forces reportedly singled out the 55 year-old Minister and grabbed him by the neck.  It’s alleged he was then head-butted, shoved and brutally struck with a rifle butt to the ground amidst a cloud of teargas.  He died on his way to hospital.

The murder of Minister Abu Ein demonstrates the cruelty that Palestinians are confronted with on a daily basis.  This wanton use of excessive force against peaceful activists constitutes a crime against humanity.  Minister Abu Ein died trying to protect Palestinian land.  He died for the cause of Palestinian statehood.

The peace-loving people of South Africa join the world community in condemning in the strongest possible terms this act of barbarism.  We support the call by the international community in demanding a swift, independent, and neutral investigation to this heinous crime.  We back the call by the Palestinian National Authority for the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and other related international bodies to take effective measures to safeguard Palestinian lives and take practical measures to end Israel’s impunity.

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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