Support by the South African Government to the people of Palestine by any means to force the Israelis to free the people of Palestine, including supplying the people of Palestine with weapons and funds

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION NO: 24 (427E) AS PUBLISHED IN IQP NO. 1-2015 OF 4 MARCH 2015

MR MA MNCWANGO (IFP) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

Whether the Government intends to support the people of Palestine by any means to  force the Israelis to free the people of Palestine, including supplying the people of Palestine with (a) weapons and (b) funds; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

REPLY:

(1) No.

South Africa, in her practice of international relations, advocates for the settlement of conflict through peaceful means including entering into genuine negotiations.

South Africa has recognized the State of Palestine since 1995 and South Africa supports the Palestinian cause to establish a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian State existing side by side in peace with the State of Israel at the bilateral level, and has continuously used her influence and leverage in the multilateral fora to advocate for the recognition of Palestine’s right of self-determination. Over the past 20 years, South Africa has undertaken a number of efforts aimed at supporting Palestine towards the achievement of a two-state solution.

These include the following:

  • At the multilateral level, particularly the United Nations, G77, Non-Alignment Movement, the African Union, BRICS and IBSA, South Africa supports and lobbies for the independence and self-determination of Palestine. In this respect, calls for serious and genuine negotiations that would result in a just resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, are made.

President Zuma appointed Former Minister Dr Zola Skweyiya and Former Deputy Minister Dr Aziz Pahad as His Special Envoy to convey his message of concern with escalating violence to the people of Palestine.

  • South Africa has pledged $ 1 million towards humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza following the 50-day war between Israel and Palestine in 2014.

  • Through the IBSA Partnership Program, South Africa has partly funded the construction of social development infrastructure projects in Palestine. In this regard, three such projects were initiated, namely: the Ramallah Indoor Sport Complex, officially inaugurated in October 2011; the Al Quids Red Crescent Hospital in Gaza launched in 2012 and People with Disabilities Project in Nablus City.

  • On 22 August 2012, the South African Cabinet approved Government Notice 379 pertaining to the correct labelling of Israeli goods in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.

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