No country in the world has been able to defy international law as much as Israel in the four decades since the Six Day War, the South African government said on Monday.
Speaking at a reception for all the Arab ambassadors in the South African capital of Pretoria, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad said the international community had failed the Palestinian people by not putting an end to the occupation of their land which was captured by Israel in 1967.
‘Israel has been able to defy the international community with impunity…No country has been allowed to get away with such blatant violations of international law,’ he said on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War when Israel took the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
‘The situation 40 years on is still bad. Israeli settlements are continuing in Palestinian territory. The facts on the ground have not changed. Israeli violence against Palestine is continuing. The Israeli authorities continue to arrest and imprison Palestinian ministers and legislators. The construction of the wall continues,’ he said in reference to the illegal wall being erected by Israel in the West Bank.
South Africa has been one of the most vocal supporters of the Palestinian cause, comparing their struggle against occupation with the fight against apartheid rule that ended in 1994.
In a statement, the governing African National Congress also expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people.
‘Today, thirteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africans need to join hands and act in solidarity with the people of Palestine as they struggle for the realisation of their basic human rights,’ it said.
‘These include the right to self-determination and the return of the people of Palestine.’