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A Palestinian Hamas supporter attends a protest to support Al-Aqsa mosque, in the northern Gaza Strip, April 22 2022. Picture: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS
A Palestinian Hamas supporter attends a protest to support Al-Aqsa mosque, in the northern Gaza Strip, April 22 2022. Picture: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS

The SA government on Sunday condemned the increased violence and heightened tension in Jerusalem, particularly at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and the restrictions placed on religious sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

“We strongly condemn the attacks against Palestinians, especially at a time of religious importance for all faiths in the region,” the department of international relations & co-operation said in a statement.

“We appeal to the government of Israel to allow Palestinians their right to worship and gather for prayers in peace. We reaffirm that the holy sites in Jerusalem and the status quo around these sites must be respected.”

The statement, issued by spokesperson Clayson Monyela, said: “These blatant violations of human rights and international law, which have been taking place for more than 70 years, should no longer be condoned and the international community, including the UN Security Council that is tasked with maintaining international peace and security, must act to ensure that states are held accountable for their actions.”

The department said SA was calling  for consistency from the international community and institutions of global governance in upholding the international rule of law.

“SA is committed to being part of international efforts aimed at reviving a much needed political process that will lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state existing side by side in peace with Israel, and within internationally recognised borders that include sovereign equality between states.”

The department called for efforts to find a solution that would enable people on both sides of the Green Line, in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, to live free of violence under conditions free from racism and discrimination of any kind.

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