President Jacob Zuma has appealed to Egyptian authorities to open their doors to allow humanitarian aid into the war ravaged Gaza strip. In his address to the National Assembly during the Presidency budget vote on Wednesday, Zuma said humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave was dire.
“Like all peace loving people the world over, we are shocked and dismayed by the violence and tragic loss of life in Gaza.
“We call on the Israeli government to stop its ground and air offensive, which continues to cause loss of life and a devastating humanitarian crisis. We also call for an end to the firing of rockets on Israeli citizens by Hamas,” he said.
“We are also opposed to the veiled attempts by the Israeli government to use its onslaught on Gaza to undermine the Unity Government in Palestine.”
Zuma said there will never be a military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He emphasized that the only solution “lies in serious and genuine negotiations involving all parties”.
“South Africa joins the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, in calling for an immediate ceasefire by all sides, and a resumption of the flow of humanitarian aid to the suffering people of Gaza,” he said.
“With electricity, fuel, and medical supplies running out in Gaza, the only lifeline for the people of Gaza is their brothers and sisters in Egypt. This is not the time to apportion blame but to focus on the needy and dying, especially defenceless women and children.”
Zuma said South Africa will work with her BRICS partners to develop a common position to this crisis. SAPA