The Democratic Alliance remains committed to advocating for peace in the Middle East

Issued by Emma Powell MP – DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
11 Oct 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Emma Powell MP

The Democratic Alliance (DA) reiterates the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, “utter condemnation of the abhorrent attacks by Hamas and others against Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza periphery.”

While recognising Israel’s legitimate and immediate security concerns, and the right of sovereign states to self-defence, we echo Guterres’ call for all military operations to be conducted in strict accordance with international humanitarian law.

The DA reaffirms the principles outlined in Article 51 of the 1977 Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits and regards as a war crime the carpet bombing of cities, towns, villages, or other areas containing a concentration of civilians. The utmost priority in all military operations should be the safeguarding of civilians. We therefore urge the exercise of maximum restraint where civilian populations are affected.

Now is the time for political leaders from across the South African political landscape to actively unite on the basis of our shared Constitutional values and call for peace. Drawing on the lessons from our nation’s negotiated settlement in 1994 that averted war and built peace, we encourage all South African religious and political leaders to come together and offer our mutual assistance in finding resolution to this abhorrent crisis, and mapping a pathway to lasting peace in the region.

The Democratic Alliance continues to support a viable and sustainable two-state solution based on United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. We recognize Israel’s right to defend herself and protect her people. We also recognise the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. These two goals can be mutually compatible within the framework of international law. South Africans must unite in supporting this path to peace in the Middle East.