South Africa’s Julius Malema has condemned African countries for attending the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.
Julius Malema, one of South Africa’s representatives at the Pan-African Parliament, has slammed African governments which attended the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.
Representatives from Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, South Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo attended the event hosted by the Israeli government, and which marked America’s official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. The US embassy move has been universally condemned.
Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party in South Africa has accused some African states of undermining the Palestinian liberation struggle.
“We are very disappointed at African countries which had celebrated the declaration of Jerusalem as the official capital city of Israel by the USA. That is the highest form of betrayal because us as Africans should know that colonialism and imperialism have no place in humanity. It’s a violation of human rights to go and occupy the land of Palestinians. We don’t support that,” Malema told South African media.
On Tuesday, the African Union (AU) strongly condemned Monday’s killing of 60 unarmed Palestinian protesters in the besieged Gaza Strip by Israeli armed forces.
In a statement, African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat slammed the “disproportionate use of force by the Israeli army.”
“The relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem can only further heighten tensions in the region and complicate the search for a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Mahamat added.
The pan-African body reiterated its solidarity with the Palestinian people in “their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign state with East Jerusalem as its capital”.
Thousands of Palestinians had gathered on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border since Monday morning to take part in protests aimed at commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (catastrophe) and to protest the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Since protests began on March 30, more than 90 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed by Israeli live ammunition, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Monday’s massacre was the bloodiest day in the Gaza Strip since 2014 when Israel attacked the blockaded coastal enclave in a military operation codenamed Operation Protective Edge.