SA govt condemns deadly violence as more killed in Israel-Palestine conflict

The international relations department has strongly warned against the attacks especially on children, women, and the elderly – calling it unjust and shameful.

Smoke billows from Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, on 11 May 2021. Israel and Hamas exchanged heavy fire, in a dramatic escalation between the bitter foes sparked by unrest at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Picture: Mahmud Hams/AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The South African government has condemned the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine.

The international relations department has strongly warned against the attacks especially on children, women, and the elderly – calling it unjust and shameful.

With the death toll increasing as clashes spread across the west bank the department has called for an immediate stop to all hostilities.

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Department's spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the unrest violates United Nations resolutions and an urgent intervention is needed from the international community.

“South Africa calls on all countries in the Middle East to respond positively to the Arab league’s foreign minister’s plan to immediately convene an emergency meeting aimed at mediation. We call on the United Nations Security Council to convene an urgent meeting between Israel and Palestine, to discuss the peace process without any preconditions."

Earlier in the week, protestors in Cape Town called on the South African government to take decisive action against Israel.

This came amid global outrage and concern over protests and scuffles between Palestinians and Israeli police, which has escalated in recent days.

Capetonians came out in their numbers in solidarity with Palestine, marching to Parliament on Wednesday.

WATCH: SA protesters march in solidarity with Palestinians after uptick in Middle East conflict

Global mediation efforts to end the fighting have taken a significant step forward this week when Egyptian security officials met with Hamas leaders in Gaza and with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv.

At the same time, US President Joe Biden has expressed his support for Israel's right to defend itself, while saying he hopes the fighting will end ‘sooner than later.'

US envoy Hady Amr has arrived in Tel Aviv for de-escalation talks.

US state secretary Antony Blinken said he had tasked Amr with forming part of the discussions.

“I have asked Hady Amr to go to the region immediately to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He will bring his decades of experience and, in particular, he will urge on my behalf and on behalf of the President Biden a de-escalation of violence.

The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has now entered its sixth day, with some of the heaviest exchanges of fire between Gaza militants and Israel reported.

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