Windhoek – Namibia has condemned Israel for the killing of 59 Palestinians in bloody clashes near Gaza on Monday, the deadliest day there since the 2014 war, as the United States officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem just 50 miles away.
At least 59 people, including unarmed women and six children, were shot dead while more than 2,700 others were injured by Israeli soldiers during protests over President Donald Trump’s controversial relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv, a move that has been praised by Israelis but has enraged Palestinians and the governments of other countries, including in the EU, and Iran and Russia.
The Palestinian health ministry said more than 2,700 people had suffered injuries and that many of the dead had not yet been identified.
Seemingly trigger-happy Israeli troops, who like in the past shot protesters at the Gaza border on Monday,
with the high-profile opening of the U.S. embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, raised tension to boiling point after weeks of demonstrations.
Protesters burnt tyres, sending huge plumes of black smoke into the sky, threw stones and some of them brandished knives at Israeli soldiers, including snipers perched on earthworks.
Namibian Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah in an interview with New Era yesterday said Namibia strongly condemns the killing of innocent Palestinians, among them women and unarmed children.
“These killings – we always say they are not warranted. We have already pronounced ourselves that the relocation of the Jewish capital to Jerusalem is not in line with the relevant UN resolution. It’s really an unfortunate incident now that we have people killed, but they were not supposed to be killed … if relevant UN resolutions were followed,” Nandi-Ndaitwah noted. She said Namibia reiterates its longstanding position that Jerusalem remains the internationally recognised capital of the two states. Therefore, she maintained, the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem put in serious jeopardy the two-state solution.
Further, she said, Namibia reaffirms its unwavering support for the UN General Assembly and Security Council Resolutions 181 (1947) and 242 (1967) respectively
Both these resolutions affirm that Jerusalem would be the capital of the future Palestinian State and the State of Israel.
The United Nations resolutions are based on the following principles: A Palestinian State and an Israeli State based on the 1967 lines; Jerusalem as the capital of both States; an end to the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories; and the return of Palestinian refugees.
Palestinian officials accused Israel of committing a “horrific massacre” and called on the international community to immediately intervene.
South Africa has recalled its ambassador to Israel following the bloody crackdown on Palestinian protesters by Israel forces that left at least 59 dead and 2,700 injured either by live gunfire, tear gas or other means.
The South African foreign ministry explained that its decision had been taken to protest the indiscriminate killing of protesters
South African ambassador Sisa Ngombane was recalled after International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu made contact with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about possibly delaying America’s move. While South Africa and Turkey recalled their ambassadors to Israel because of the U.S. decision that has been widely criticised by its Western allies, some African countries sent representatives to witness the official opening of the embassy in disputed Jerusalem.
The United Nations General Assembly rejected by a huge majority the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.