The Southern African Development Community (SADC) expresses its concern at the killings of more that 50 Palestinian people during the protests of 14th May 2018 against the decision by the United States of America (USA), to relocate its embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel.
The SADC would like to strongly condemn, the killing of unarmed protesters who have taken to the streets in a non-violent protest, to voice out their misgivings at the USA Administration, for this unprecedented and dangerous decision, and a clear departure from its previous position where it had the ability to be an independent broker of peace in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
In this context, the relocation of the USA embassy sets back previous efforts by the international community to secure the inalienable right to self-determination by the Palestinians and has potential to bring about a religious based conflict in the Middle East region as has been observed by the United Nations General Assembly. The SADC therefore reiterates the United Nations Resolution GA/11995 (2017) asking Nations not to locate Diplomatic Missions in Jerusalem.
The SADC therefore further reaffirms the African Union (AU) declaration on the Situation in Palestine and the middle east Assembly/AU/Decl.1(XXX) EX.CL/1050(XXXII) of its 30th Assembly that reaffirmed its position for the need to find a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, in accordance with the principles of international law and all relevant United Nations Resolutions calling for the establishment of a Palestinian State based on the June 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital in, implementation of the principle of the two-State solution and UN Resolution 194 on the return of Palestinian refugees.
The SADC also reiterates the position of the AU that called upon the American Peace Initiative in the Middle East, to include in the Initiative, equitable solutions to all unresolved issues between the two sides without fragmentation or postponement, in conformity with the relevant international resolutions and references, which could lead to the establishment of two States; an independent Palestinian State with the 4 June 1967 borders and the State of Israel, peacefully co –existing.
The SADC therefore offers its condolences to the Palestinian people for the loss suffered on its citizens and calls upon all parties to exercise restraint in dealing with this situation.