Palestine–South Africa relations

South Africa-Palestine relations refer to the interstate relations between the Republic of South Africa and the State of Palestine.

South Africa-Palestine relations


South Africa

Bilateral relations

The African National Congress had close relations with Palestine Liberation Organization. Nelson Mandela had close relations with Yasser Arafat. After the first non-racial elections in 1994, South Africa established diplomatic relations with the State of Palestine on February 15, 1995.[1] Former South African President Nelson Mandela had visited both Israel and Palestine and called for peace between both sides.[2] Nevertheless, some prominent South African figures, such as Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kasrils[3][4] have criticized Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, drawing parallels between apartheid South Africa and modern-day Israel.[5] The Congress of South African Trade Unions, which represents 1.2 million South African workers, has also accused Israel of practicing apartheid and supported the boycott of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, as well as the boycott of all Israeli products.[6]

Gaza War and After

During the 2008 to 2009 Gaza War, South Africa's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Fatima Hajaig called on Israel to stop military attacks in Gaza and withdraw its forces from the border immediately, saying, "The South African government finds the continued siege on Gaza unacceptable as it does not allow humanitarian relief supply such as medicine, food and water to reach the desperate people of Gaza."[7] "The South African government unequivocally and in the strongest possible terms condemns the escalation of violence on the part of Israel brought about by the launching Saturday night of a ground invasion into Gaza," read a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs after the start of Israel's ground offensive.[8] South Africa said that, "the violent situation in Gaza and southern Israel made it imperative for the [UN General] Assembly to collectively and publicly voice its condemnation of the attacks and demand that both sides immediately cease their military attacks."[9] The country made a similar call in the UN Security Council.[10] After the May 31, 2010, Gaza flotilla raid, the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation issued a statement "strongly condemning all military aggression by Israel against innocent civilians, including those in the occupied West Bank and Gaza."[11] On June 3, South Africa recalled its ambassador from Israel, and the Israeli ambassador was summoned to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation for a reprimand.[12] During the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, The Department's spokesman, Clayson Monyela, stated that the country "strongly urge all sides to refrain from responding to violence with violence and to exercise restraint, including a halt to the arbitrary arrest of Palestinian civilians and the use of collective punishment on Palestinians."[13]

See also


  1. Government of South Africa. "Palestine (The State of)". Department of International Relations and Cooperation. Retrieved 2010-12-05.: "The establishment of full diplomatic relations with the State of Palestine was announced on 15 February 1995. ... South African Representation in Palestine - The South African Representative to the Palestinian National Authority ... State of Palestine Representation in South Africa - Embassy of the State of Palestine".
  2. Mandela makes Gaza plea
  3. Desmond Tutu (April 29, 2002). "Apartheid in the Holy Land". London: The Guardian.
  4. Tutu, D. & Urbina, I. (2002). "Against Israeli apartheid". The Nation.
  5. Tutu condemns Israeli apartheid.
  6. "South African union joins boycott of Israel". 2006-08-06.
  7. News - Front Page: SA urges Israel to stop Gaza Retrieved on 2009-01-08
  8. News - South Africa: Gaza crisis 'unacceptable' - Retrieved on 2009-01-08
  9. "UN General Assembly 32nd and 33rd Meetings". UN General Assembly. 2009-01-15. Archived from the original on 2009-01-28.
  10. "UN Security Council 6060th Meeting" (PDF). UN Security Council. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
  11. South Africa condemns the Israeli Attacks on Aid Ships to Gaza, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 31-05-2010
  12. Amir Mizroch (06/04/2010). "South Africa recalls its ambassador". The Jerusalem Post. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  13. "Middle East needs peaceful talks: Dirco". IOL News. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
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