Maat: “Israel's accession to the African Union aims to obstruct support for the Palestinian cause
Okeil: The legality of Israel obtaining observer status in the African Union must be considered
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights is following with concern Israel’s recent attempts to join the African Union, after the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia submitted his accreditation as an observer in the African Union to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, on July 22 to obtain observer status within the African Union.
The African Union may allow non-African countries to enjoy the status of an observer member, such as the cases of Palestine and Turkey, and thus, these countries are welcomed to participate and attend sessions and meetings without the right to vote. However, Maat considers the decision of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to accept Israel was taken unilaterally without consultation With the Member States, which may cause procedural and legal problems for the powers attributed to it.
Although Israel declares that the reasons why it seeks to join the African Union are to “strengthen cooperation in efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and prevent the spread of terrorism in Africa,” it continues, nevertheless, to obstruct the Palestinians access to the Covid-19 vaccine, and bomb civilians in the occupied Palestinian territories in full view of the international community, in addition to carrying out discriminatory and settlement policies that clearly contradict the principles and objectives of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
Maat considers this move by Israel as one of the attempts to obstruct the decisions and statements issued by the Union that always support the Palestinian cause, which in turn may weaken the African support for the Palestinian cause, whether inside the Union’s organs or in the voting blocs in international forums.
Commenting on the decision, Ayman Okeil, president of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, affirmed that Israel's accession to the African Union is inconsistent with the objectives of the African Union, adding that this decision is extremely shocking, especially given the massive violations committed by the Israeli occupation authorities this year in particular, such as the killing, evacuation and forced displacement of Palestinians.
Okeil called on the AU organs to reconsider this decision and evaluate the extent of its legal validity, especially since it was taken without the consent of all member states of the African Union, and also recommended the governments of the African Union countries to stand side by side with the Palestinian people and not to succumb to Israel’s penetration into the African continent.