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Palestinian foreign minister calls for African Union to revoke Israel’s observer status

PALESTINIAN Foreign Minister Riyad Malki penned an open letter to the African Union (AU) today, calling on it to reverse July’s controversial decision to grant Israel observer status at the organisation.

The move provoked outrage with members of the bloc, including South Africa and Algeria, saying that AU commission chair Moussa Fakho Mahamat had acted outside his remit.

The two countries said that the human rights violations committed by Israel were contrary to the AU’s charter and slammed its occupation of Palestine which they said was a violation of international law.

Mr Malki’s letter came as delegates to the organisation were set to discuss Israel’s official observer status.

“Actors, like Israel, who see international law and human rights as impediments and continue to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity have long forfeited any entitlement to have a seat at the African table. 

“They must be held accountable and exposed, not rewarded and accommodated,” he said.

Granting Israel observer status would make a mockery of the AU’s founding principles, the letter charged, along with its statements and resolution on Palestine.

“The withdrawal of Israel’s observer status is a necessary validation of the African Union’s commitment towards its broader anti-colonialism and anti-apartheid political strategy,” it said.

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