In a sudden escalation of tensions, Israel reported the tragic loss of 70 lives, while Gaza authorities confirmed a death toll of 198. This follows a significant offensive initiated by the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, against Israel this past Saturday.
Reports indicate that Hamas militants launched a barrage of rockets from Gaza. In response, Israel executed a series of powerful air strikes. There are also accounts of Hamas fighters on the ground, with intentions to either harm or capture individuals.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has attributed the ongoing conflict to what they describe as Israel’s “apartheid-like” occupation of Palestinian territories.
“The ongoing expansionist approach of the Israeli state is a source of tension. The construction of settler homes on Palestinian territories and further territorial infringements are in direct violation of multiple UN resolutions that Israel has consistently ignored. The Israeli government’s continuous disregard for international laws against annexation has, in turn, sparked violent pushback,”the EFF stated.
South African Minister Calls for Peace
Dr. Naledi Pandor, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, has voiced her plea for an immediate halt to the hostilities between Israel and Palestine.
Expressing her deep concern about the intensifying conflict, Pandor highlighted the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories as the primary catalyst for the current strife.
“The recent surge in violence stems from the ongoing unlawful occupation of Palestinian lands, the expansion of settlements, disrespect towards the Al Aqsa mosque and Christian sacred places, and the sustained subjugation of the Palestinian populace,” Pandor remarked.
Emphasizing the urgency for a genuine peace initiative, the minister articulated South Africa’s position on the matter.
“In collaboration with the global community, South Africa is committed to fostering a lasting peace. Our vision is a sustainable and contiguous Palestinian state, coexisting peacefully with Israel, adhering to the 1967 internationally-acknowledged boundaries, with East Jerusalem serving as its capital,” Pandor expressed in her statement.
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