African National Congress (ANC) president Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed support for the people of Palestine amid rising tensions with Israel and deadly strikes that have claimed the lives of children.
Ramaphosa made the remarks while delivering the closing address on Monday after the ANC’s national executive committee meeting held over the weekend.
There’s been a fresh build-up in anger between Palestinians and Israelis over plans to steal Palestinians homes in Sheikh Jarrah – that’s in east Jerusalem – to make space for Israeli settlements.
The situation escalated into violence when Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa mosque over the weekend as worshippers gathered for Ramadan prayers.
Since then, the two sides have clashed daily as police fired rubber bullets and Palestinians threw rocks and other objects.
Ramaphosa has reiterated South Africa’s position on the decades-long conflict.
“The NEC reaffirms its support for the people of Palestine and their struggle for freedom and self-determination. And we repeat our condemnation in the strongest terms of the unlawful evictions of the Palestinians from their homes and the brutal attacks on the Palestinian protestors at al-Aqsa mosque.”
Meanwhile, world leaders have appealed for calm after at least 22 people were killed by rocket attacks launched by Israel in response to similar strikes by the Palestinian group Hamas.
It’s being reported that at least nine children are among the dead.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken called for de-escalation: “We are very deeply concerned about the attacks we have seen and they need to stop immediately.”