Palestinians urge African Union to expel Israel during next summit

2022-02-05 20:33:23
Palestinians urge African Union to expel Israel during next summit

Palestinian leaders and resistance groups have urged the African Union (AU) to reconsider last year’s decision to grant Israel an observer status at the pan-African bloc.

The concerted call came as heads of state gathered in Addis Ababa for the two-day summit of the 55-member bloc, that opened in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday.

The crisis was set in motion last July when Moussa Faki Mahamat, chair of the African Union Commission, accepted Israel's observer status in the bloc, triggering a rare dispute within a body that values consensus.

"Israel should never be rewarded for its violation and for the apartheid regime it does impose on the Palestinian people," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said

"Your excellencies, I'm sorry to report to you that the situation of the Palestinian people has only grown more precarious."

The decision last year drew quick protest from powerful members, including South Africa and Algeria which argued that it flew in the face of AU statements supporting the Palestinian Territories.

Earlier Saturday Faki defended his decision, claiming that it could be "an instrument in the service of peace".

Palestinian resistance movements hit back, with Hamas calling on all freedom-loving Africans to voice solidarity with the Palestinian nation and compel Faki to to revoke it.

“The occupying regime has long practiced state terrorism, and systematically commits all kinds of crimes against the Palestinian people, their territories and holy sites. It enacts a policy of ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination as documented by many international human rights organizations,” Hamas said in a statement.

South Africa and Algeria are leading a continental campaign to cancel Israel’s status as an accredited observer at the African Union.

Human rights organizations have accused Israel of crimes against humanity and pursing policies of "apartheid" in the occupied territories.

The word apartheid is often associated with South Africa. Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that existed in country from 1948 until the early 1990s.

The system was characterized by an authoritarian political culture based on white supremacy, which ensured that South Africa was dominated politically, socially, and economically by the nation's minority white population.

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