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Hamas hails efforts to revoke Israel’s African Union observer status

18th Oct 2021
Hamas hails efforts to revoke Israel’s African Union observer status

By Mohammad Majid

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA): Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Sunday welcomed a decision to postpone the approval of Israel’s observer status in the African Union (AU).

“The decision by the AU Executive Council to postpone taking a final decision to grant the occupation state observer status is a step in the right direction,” Hamas leader Basem Naim said in a statement.

On Friday, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said a decision was taken by the AU Executive Council to delay a decision on granting Israel observer status in the pan-African body until the AU summit in February 2022.

Last month, a group of international lawyers, researchers and activists filed a complaint with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights seeking the revocation of Israel’s AU observer status.

In July, African Union Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat decided to grant Israel observer status, prompting outrage across the African continent.

Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, Burundi and Chad Aleli Admasu on 23 July  presented his credentials to Mahamat at the bloc’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Then seven Arab countries, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Mauritania, Comoros and Djibouti, submitted their objection to the action taken by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. They argued that the move “is unacceptable at the discretion of the President of the Commission. It is a procedural and political violation” and a violation of the criteria for granting observer status to the African Union. The rest of the Arab league member states of the African Union, namely Morocco, Sudan and Somalia, remained silent. Algeria and South Africa had already objected to this move early on.

The letter was also signed by Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Palestine and Yemen, in addition to the delegation of the Arab League,

In recent years, Israel exerted efforts to restore ties with African nations which were severed mostly in the aftermath of Israel’s military conflicts with its neighbors and occupation of the Palestinian lands in the 1960s.

* Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa.  Photo by Satu Ryynanen/Creative Commons]

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