Palestinian PM urges African Union to withdraw "Israel" as observer
The Prime Minister asserted that the Israeli occupation should "never be rewarded for its violation and for the apartheid regime"
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh asked the African Union on Saturday to revoke "Israel's" observer status as heads of state from the 55-member group convened for a two-day meeting.
He firmly proclaimed that "'Israel' should never be rewarded for its violation and for the apartheid regime it does impose on the Palestinian people."
The relationship with "Israel" is a source of controversy and is anticipated to dominate the Adis Ababa summit on the weekend.
The conflict started in July when the African Union Commission's leader, Moussa Faki Mahamat, approved "Israel's" admission to the organization.
Powerful AU member nations, most notably South Africa, criticized the decision, claiming that they had not been adequately informed and that it contradicted prior AU pronouncements – even from Faki himself – in favor of Palestine.
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Earlier on Saturday, Faki stated that the AU's support to the Palestinian cause was "unchanging and can only continue to go stronger". He justified his choice, saying it may be "an instrument in the service of peace" and urging " a serene debate."
The conference might possibly include a vote for or against Faki's decision.
Bennett has spoken with the President of Senegal on the matter, and Lapid with his counterpart in Togo and Burundi, among others, in order to gain their support.
In order for the motion to revoke "Israel's" status to be revoked, two-thirds of the 54 AU member states would have to vote for it. It is possible that the vote may not pass, or be postponed indefinitely, according to the Israeli daily.
South Africa, Sudan, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana were among the countries that opposed "Israel" gaining observer status, whereas Morocco and Chad - which established diplomatic relations with "Israel" in recent years - promoted it.
The admission to the organization, unfortunately, gave Israeli diplomats a triumph they had been seeking for over two decades, with the foreign ministry calling the earlier exclusion an "anomaly."
"Israel" had previously been certified by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), but that status was lost when the OAU was abolished and replaced by the AU in 2002.
The Israeli government blamed the rejection on Libyan leader Muammar Al-Gaddafi, who wielded considerable power at the AU until his death in 2011. According to the AU website, 72 nations, regional blocs, and organizations have previously been accredited, including North Korea, the European Union, and UNAIDS.
Algeria: Granting “Israel” Observer status could lead to AU’s division
Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra had rejected in August the statements of African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, who insisted on granting “Israel” observer status to the pan-African organization.
Lamamra stated that Mahamat’s statement is an attempt to defend his move without recognizing the repercussions, pointing out that such a stance may lead to the African Union's division.
A group of international lawyers and researchers have launched a legal complaint with the African Commission on Human and People’s rights in September, in order to have "Israel’s" observer status in the African Union (AU) revoked. The complaint was filed on the grounds that the Israeli government is guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and apartheid.