The Palestinian government and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) have condemned this week’s visit to Israel, and specifically to an illegal Israeli settlement, by South African MP Kenneth Meshoe, in violation of South Africa’s policy towards the Israeli occupation.
The ACDP’s spokesman confirmed that their president Kenneth Meshoe would be in Israel this week but said he had no knowledge of him visiting a settlement or attending any conference.
Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the PLO and a member of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has sent a letter to the South African government slamming Meshoe’s visit.
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“It is with grave concern that I must address the issue of an announced visit by members of your parliament to illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied State of Palestine as part of an upcoming conference organised by the ‘Israel Allies Foundation’ in co-ordination with the Israeli government,” the letter reads.
“This event will celebrate and seemingly legitimize the presence of illegal settlers while whitewashing Israel’s systematic denial of the Palestinian people’s inalienable right of self-determination,” he added.
Erekat continued, “Palestine thus asks that your government remind any members of parliament who are planning to participate in this conference, including the settlement visit, of your government’s positions and commitments with respect to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, which positions and commitments are in accordance with international law.”
— WhyIsrael?2 (@WhyIsrael2) August 22, 2016
He concluded: “The conference and visit to the illegal settlements in East Jerusalem on the anniversary of the Liberation and other parts of the occupied West Bank is meant to commemorate the ’50th Anniversary of the Liberation and Unification of Jerusalem’.”
Keeno Petersen, a spokesman from the ACDP, confirmed to the African News Agency that Meshoe would be in Israel this week but also had no knowledge of him visiting a settlement or attending any conference.
ANA has written to both Israel’s ambassador to South Africa and the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) requesting a response but no comment has been received.