Politics Editors Choice

ANC to support EFF motion to 'close' Israeli embassy, suspend diplomatic ties

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have rallied in solidarity with Palestinians. File photo.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have rallied in solidarity with Palestinians. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

The ANC instructed its MPs to support a motion by the EFF to “close” the Israeli embassy in South Africa and temporarily suspend diplomatic relations.

The governing party said what the Israeli government was doing to Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere was “genocidal”.

EFF leader Julius Malema is expected to table a motion in the National Assembly on Thursday for South Africa to cut diplomatic ties with the Israeli government.

In the draft resolution, Malema says the Israeli government was breaching laws against annexing by invading and building houses on Palestinian land.

Malema is calling for the National Assembly to “recognise that peace in the Middle East will never prevail for as long as the land of the Palestinians is occupied, and more of the little remaining land is annexed”.

The National Assembly must condemn the killing of “defenceless children and women in Gaza including the bombing of hospitals”.

The death toll in the region has been estimated to be more than 10,000 with most of those killed being Palestine women and children.

The Israeli government this week bombarded a hospital in Gaza saying it harboured a Hamas command centre.

The ANC on Thursday said it would support the motion by the EFF during a virtual sitting.

“We reiterate our call for a ceasefire for humanitarian corridors to be fully operational,” said ANC spokesperson Mahlengu Bhengu-Motsiri.

“Given the unfolding atrocities in occupied Palestine, the ANC will agree to a parliamentary motion which calls on the government to close the Israeli embassy in South Africa and suspend diplomatic relations with Israel until Israel agrees to a ceasefire and commits to binding UN-facilitated negotiations whose outcome must be a just, sustainable and lasting peace.”

She said the party had also commended the decision announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa that his government has referred the Israeli government to the International Criminal Court.

“We cannot sit back and watch the genocidal actions of the Israeli regime. President Ramaphosa has stated clearly that the ANC-led government as well as the ANC does not condone any form of violence directed at citizens,” said Bhengu-Motsiri.

“We welcome that in this intervention South Africa is not alone, it has the support of other nations.”

The ANC’s 230 MPs will vote with the EFF’s 44 MPs to pass the motion. As the National Assembly has 400 MPs it means the motion will easily be passed with more than 280 votes if all ANC and EFF MPs are present.

It is not clear how other political parties will vote.

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