SA should play a mediator role in Israel-Palestine conflict – Stevens Mokgalapa

DA MP disappointed govt has chosen to withdraw ambassador at a time when country should be showing leadership

South Africa should play a mediator role in the Israel-Palestine conflict to find peaceful two-state solution

15 May 2018

The DA condemns the violence that has seen the killing of 55 Palestinians by Israeli security forces. This loss of lives is indeed a tragedy for the people of Palestine and further exacerbates the conflict in the Middle East.

Furthermore, the DA is disappointed that the South African government has chosen to withdraw our ambassador to Israel precisely at a time when South Africa should be showing leadership. This is a departure of the South African government position of a two-state solution. This position has also been adopted by the South African Parliament, any change in this position would need to be considered and decided on by Parliament. This has not taken place.

The DA is committed to a two-state solution, where Israel and Palestine exist side by side, which is the position of the South African Government as well as the United Nations. We believe that, because of our history, South Africa has the legitimacy and authority to act as steward in brokering peace in the Middle East.

It is crucial that South Africa remains a mediator and a special envoy in this conflict, advocating for a two-state solution so that the violence in the Middle East can come to an end.

The South African government needs to bring the decision to withdraw the ambassador to Parliament for ratification. Anything short of this can be viewed as abrogating our responsibility in this conflict.

Issued by Stevens MokgalapaDA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, 15 May 2018