Home SOCIETY GIST INTERNATIONAL NEWS SOUTH AFRICA ‘SHOCKED’ BY ISRAEL’S AFRICAN UNION OBSERVER STATUS

SOUTH AFRICA ‘SHOCKED’ BY ISRAEL’S AFRICAN UNION OBSERVER STATUS

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By Aishat Momoh. O.

On Wednesday, South Africa angrily opposed the African Union Commission’s “unilateral” decision last week to grant Israel official observer status at the continental body.

The continental giant, which last year held the AU leadership for the first time, issued a stern statement saying it was “appalled” by the AU Commission’s “unjust and unjustifiable decision to award Israel observer status in the African Union.”

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On Thursday, the African Union granted Israel observer status, which both parties hoped would allow Israel to assist the AU in combating the coronavirus pandemic and terrorism on the continent.

“The decision to grant Israel observer status is even more shocking in a year when the oppressed people of Palestine have been hounded by destructive bombardments and continued illegal land settlements,” South Africa’s foreign affairs ministry said, calling the move “inexplicable” and “incomprehensible.”

With formal diplomatic relations established in 1995, a year after apartheid ended, South Africa supports the Palestinian cause, albeit its embassy in Tel Aviv was reduced in 2019.

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