Media Statement

30 May 2021

South Africa welcomes the adoption of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Ensuring respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel

The Government of the Republic of South Africa welcomes the adoption of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Ensuring respect for international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel, on 27 May 2021.

The Resolution decides to urgently establish an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of international humanitarian law and abuses of international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel for the period leading up to and since 13 April 2021, as well as make recommendations on accountable measures.

The Resolution was adopted following a debate at the 30th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Addressing the Special Session, South Africa lamented the disproportionate tragic loss of so many lives, especially those of children, as a result of recent vicious attacks against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in East Jerusalem. South Africa also affirmed that “the protracted Israeli-Palestine conflict is one of an unbalanced power equation, between a nuclear state, as the Occupying Power, and a people with no military power resisting occupation, while striving for the right to self-determination and exercising their basic human rights.” South Africa called on the Human Rights Council to hold Israel accountable for its violations of human rights and impunity, adding that “the continued discriminatory Israeli occupation and annexation policy entrench the balkanisation of the Palestinian territory as an Apartheid-style Bantustan, denying the Palestinian people their right to self-determination, and impeding peace and a viable two-state solution.”

Delivering a statement on behalf of the 47 countries of the Africa Group, Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and International Organisation in Geneva, reiterated South Africa and the Africa Group’s support to the historic struggle of the Palestinian people quest for an independent and sovereign State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. He emphasised the importance of a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the existence of two States so as to resolve the longest conflict in recent history and to put an end to the suffering of millions of Palestinians living under occupation.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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