Press Statement

04 January 2023

South Africa’s Statement on the visit to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount by Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir

The Government of the Republic of South Africa expresses concern over the visit to the Temple Mount by Israel’s National Security Minister.

South Africa joins the international community in condemning the actions of National Security Minister Ben Gvir.

The action by Minister Gvir is seen as a signal that the newly elected Israeli Government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu is perhaps another step towards changing the fragile status quo with regard to the holy sites in Jerusalem. Minister Gvir’s actions follow from the statement by Prime Minister Netanyahu that his government plans to: “advance and develop settlements in all parts of the land of Israel – in the Galilee, Negev, Golan Heights, and Judea and Samaria”. This statement has been interpreted as signalling the end of pursuing a two-state solution by the Government of Israel.

This statement, Minister Gvir’s incursion to Al Aqsa, the demolition of Palestinian homes and resources and the killing of young Palestinians all serve to heighten tensions in the region, making meaningful dialogue towards the end of the occupation very difficult.

South Africa remains committed to an end to the occupation of Palestine and is hopeful that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at its meeting on this matter, will condemn these actions and call for concrete action concerning ending the Apartheid system in Israel and Palestine.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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