Pretoria says region is in desperate need of a credible peace process
The South African government has called for an immediate cessation of violence between Israel and Palestine.
“South Africa expresses its grave concern over the recent devastating escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said in a statement Saturday night.
It said: “The new conflagration has arisen from the continued illegal occupation of Palestine land, continued settlement expansion, desecration of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Christian holy sites, and ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people.”
On Saturday, Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood saying the surprise attack on Israel was in response to the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased settler violence. It said it fired rockets and captured many Israelis.
In turn, the Israeli army initiated Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
At least 750 Israelis have been missing since fighting broke out on Saturday morning, local media reported early Sunday.
At least 256 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 2,000 others injured in the attacks, according to medical sources in Gaza, while the Israeli death toll climbed to 600.
More than 3,000 rockets have been launched by Hamas toward Israel since Saturday morning, according to the Israeli army.
South Africa said the region is in desperate need of a credible peace process that delivers on the calls of a plethora of previous UN resolutions for a two-state solution and a just and comprehensive peace between Israel and Palestine.
Pretoria said it is working together with the international community to ensure a lasting and durable peace that produces a viable, contiguous Palestinian State, existing side-by-side in peace with Israel, within the 1967 internationally recognized borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.