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South Africa to call on AU to mobilize against Israel West Bank annexation plans

South Africa says it will call on African Union (AU) member states to adopt a strong and unequivocal stance against the Israeli regime’s controversial plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and apply its authority to those areas.

Speaking in a telephone conversation with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor said she will ask President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is currently the AU chairperson, to urge African heads of state to confront the move.

Pro-Palestinian African groups have welcomed the proposal, starting their efforts to ensure other African countries will join South Africa’s support for an independent and sovereign Palestinian state and will denounce the Israeli regime’s annexation plans.

“I am excited that President Ramaphosa is leading the AU, and I hope he will be able to rally his fellow heads of state in Africa to take firm and decisive actions against an Israeli gangster regime that consistently flouts international law,” Ras Mubarak of the Ghana’s Palestinian Solidarity Campaign said.

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in Botswana also hoped that the Southern African country will take a similar position against Israeli colonialism and annexation plans at the AU, the United Nations and other international bodies.

The UDC head of communications, Moeti Mohwasa, urged Botswana’s government, civil society and the private sector to resist Israel’s charm offensive in the African country and elsewhere in Africa.

“Israel’s offers of agricultural and water technology, security, business, trade and investment opportunities are designed to buy support for its plans to colonize Palestine,” Mohwasa warned.

Moreover, Robson Musarafu of Zimbabwe’s Friends of Palestine urged African Union member states to protest against the Israel regime’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

Palestine envoy urges Africans’ support against annexation

For her part, the Palestinian ambassador to South Africa, Hanan Jarrar, commended Pandor’s remarks, calling other African states to follow in South Africa’s suit and speak out against Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land.

“Africa is a cornerstone of support for Palestinians. The continent’s long history and lived experiences of struggle against colonialism and apartheid is at the core of its solidarity with the Palestinian people. Turning a blind eye to Israeli settler-colonialism would run counter against the African history and principles,” Jarrar pointed out.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was sworn into office for another term on May 17, has set July 1 for the start of cabinet discussions on extending Israeli “sovereignty” over settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Israel’s annexation plans have been slammed by the Palestinians and the international community as violation of international law.

In response to Israel’s decision, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the end of all agreements signed with Israel and the United States on May 19.

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