PRETORIA, Thursday, April 6, 2023 (WAFA) - The Government of South Africa condemned the violent acts by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday night causing injuries and the arrest of more than 400 Palestinians, calling for calm and the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“The use of stun grenades and tear gas on worshippers is unjust. These actions threaten the internationally agreed status quo in relation to Jerusalem and its sacred sites,” it said in a statement.
“The Palestinian Muslim worshippers have a right to practice their religion in peace, without fear or intimidation of the Israeli police. Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to all Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims, and they do not require permission or approval from the Israeli government to enter or pray in the Mosque,” it added.
“These actions undermine all peace efforts and may lead to an explosion in the region. The year 2022 has been described as the deadliest year for Palestinians since the United Nations started tracking fatalities in 2005. More than 200 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli attacks last year.”
The South African Government went on to say that Israel as the occupying power has specific obligations in terms of international human rights and humanitarian law to protect Palestinians. “However, the Israeli government continues to breach these obligations with no accountability,” it said, adding that it remains unequivocally committed to and values efforts aimed at reviving a political process, leading to ending the occupation so that the human rights of all are secured.