21 July 2017
The SA Government notes with concern the political tension at the Al Aqsa Mosque
The South African Government has expressed concern over the increased political tension due to the security measures imposed by Israel on worshippers at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The security measures have led to a deadly incident that took place on Friday, the 14th of July 2017.
The heightened security measures with the installation of metal detectors is viewed as a means to change the status quo of the Al Aqsa Compound as it happened in Hebron following the 1994 Ibrahimi Mosque massacre. The South African Government notes the decision of the Islamic Endowment’s refusal to enter the holy site through the newly installed metal detectors.
The subsequent clashes and opposition to the recent measures has contributed to heightened tension in Palestine resulting in daily clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in Hebron, Bethlehem, Kafr Ein and the suburbs of East Jerusalem.
South African Government calls on the Israeli Government to adhere to the agreement it entered into with the Jordanian Government and the Islamic Endowment (Waqf) who in principle are responsible for the security within the Al Aqsa Compound.
All parties are encouraged to refrain from action that will create more tension in an already volatile environment.
The South African Government calls on both the Governments of Israel and Palestine to resume final status negotiations in order for the two nations to live side-by-side, in peace, and within secure and recognised borders.
Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
O R Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road