Panafrican News Agency

AU Chairperson 'strongly condemns' bombardments in the Gaza Strip

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, has "strongly condemned" the bombardments in the Gaza Strip that have killed more than 21 Palestinians.

He has also condemned the violent attacks in the Al-Aqsa mosque committed by Israeli security forces against Palestinian worshippers wounding some 300 worshippers during the holy month of Ramadan, an AU statement said on Tuesday.

"The Chairperson reiterates that the Israeli army’s actions, including the continued forced, illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, are in stark violation of international law and further heighten tensions in the region, complicating the search for a just and lasting solution," Mr. Faki Mahamat said.

He reiterated the continued strong support of the African Union with the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State with East Jerusalem as it’s capital.

The AU Chairperson further called for renewed and genuine international efforts to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict, based on the existence of two States -- Israel and Palestine -- within the framework of the relevant African Union and United Nations pronouncements.

The UN Secretary-General has also said he is "gravely concerned" at escalating violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory on Tuesday, while the UN rights office,  OHCHR, appealed for “a redoubling of efforts to restore calm”, after airstrikes and days of clashes between protesters and Israeli police.

The ongoing violence marks a dramatic escalation of tensions linked to the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers and access to one of the most sacred sites in the city, which is a key hub for Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

-0- PANA MA 12May2021