Addis Ababa (The Inside Palestine)- The African Union (AU) has suspended a debate on whether to withdraw Israel’s accreditation, avoiding a vote that risked creating an unprecedented rift in the 55 member bloc, a diplomat told AFP on Sunday.
“The Israel question has been suspended for now and instead there will be a committee set up to study the issue,” one of the diplomats said to an AFP reporter.
On Saturday, the Palestinian PM Muhammad Shtayyeh called on the African Union to withdraw Israel’s observer status, stressing that accepting it as an observer in the AU will be an unmerited reward for its violations and for the apartheid regime it imposes on the Palestinian people.
Addressing the African Union summit meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Shtayyeh said, “Our faith lies in your alignment with the principles of truth, freedom, peace, and justice. We are confident in your willingness to support the Palestinian people under Israel’s prolonged occupation. Israel should never be rewarded for its violations and for the apartheid regime it imposes on the Palestinian people. As an entity, Israel has progressed from a victim complex to paranoia, extremism, militarism and colonial expansion. This must stop.”
“Based on your stated historical positions and your support for the Palestinian right, and per relevant decisions of the UN and previous African Union Assemblies, we call for the withdrawal and objection of Israel’s observer status at the African Union,” he added.
On 22 July 2021, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, decided to unilaterally accredit ‘Israel’ to the African Union, which has created an unprecedented strong response and objection from AU member states at all political levels. So far, the AU has accredited more than 170 non-African states and organisations.
In October 2021, the executive council of the African Union delayed its decision on accepting or revoking granting the occupation state of Israel observer status, until the next summit in February.
Following a vigorous debate between the members, the council decided to delay the decision.
At least 25 African Union member states now oppose the African Union’s grant of observer status to ‘Israel’.
The African Union is a representative body of 55 African nations whose majority object to Israel’s illegal occupation, unjust oppression of Palestinians and annexation of their land.
The occupation state had submitted a letter of credence to rejoin the AU as an observer — which was accepted — 19 years after the occupation state lost its status.