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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

African Union head condemns Israeli 'bombardments' in Gaza

Mahamat 'reiterates that the Israeli army's actions, including the continued forced, illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem'

AFP , Tuesday 11 May 2021
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The chairman of the African Union commission on Tuesday condemned Israeli "bombardments" in the Gaza Strip as well as "violent attacks" by Israeli security forces at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat "reiterates that the Israeli army's actions, including the continued forced, illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, are in stark violation of international law and further heighten tensions in the region," the AU said in a statement.

Several nights of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police, particularly around the Al-Aqsa compound, spiralled on Monday night into a barrage of Islamist rocket fire from Gaza and deadly Israeli air strikes in retaliation.

The escalation has killed at least 28 Palestinians in Gaza and three Israelis, prompting international calls for calm.

The AU has long expressed support for "the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State" with East Jerusalem as its capital, its statement said.

Pro-Palestinian language is typically featured in statements delivered at the 55-nation body's annual summits.

Faki used the 2020 summit to denounce then-US President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East, saying it "trampled on the rights of the Palestinian people", drawing applause in the main hall at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

Palestine has non-member status at the AU.

Israel has been lobbying for the same status, so far unsuccessfully.

 

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