The Palestinian prime minister has asked the African Union to withdraw the “observer” status granted to Israel in July last year, a decision that drew harsh criticism from several of the 55 Member States.
At the organization’s summit in Addis Ababa, Mohammed Shtayyeh said that “Israel should never be rewarded for its violation and for the apartheid regime it imposes on the Palestinian people. As an entity, Israel has gone from extremism to militarism and colonial expansion. This must end.”
South Africa, Algeria and other member states also view the concession as contrary to the organization’s statements in support of the Palestinian territories.
The president of the African Union Commission, for his part, has called for a “calm debate” on the issue and has reiterated the AU’s commitment to the “search for independence” of the Palestinians. Y says Israel’s accreditation can be “an instrument in the service of peace”.
The issue will be debated this Sunday at the closing of the summit and could lead to a division unprecedented in the history of the African Union, which is two decades old.