The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has always advocated for the path of non-violence and negotiation, and remains steadfast in our belief that a Two-State solution for Israel and Palestine could provide the peace, justice, and stability that the Middle East so desperately needs.
Exactly a month ago, on October 7, the fragile peace in the Middle East was once again tested and shattered when a series of Hamas attacks were carried out against Israel – with civilians bearing the brutal brunt of their violence.
As the Israel-Palestine conflict continues to inflict suffering on innocent civilians and disrupt regional harmony, the IFP strongly urges all parties involved to lay down their arms and engage in meaningful dialogue to find a lasting solution to this protracted crisis.
We call on Israel to exercise restraint and commit to a ceasefire and a peace process.
We call on Hamas to join the peace process and come to the negotiation table in finding an amicable solution to this conflict.
Now, after weeks of violence, many more innocent lives have been lost. These are not faceless statistics but real people, with hopes and aspirations, families and communities.
It is our moral duty, not only as South Africans, but as a global community, to hear their cries and respond to their plight.
Further, as the IFP, we want to caution the South African government that isolationism in a time of war is not a solution. Recalling – or dismissing – ambassadors merely amounts to regressive diplomacy, which in turn complicates negotiations. If South Africa is truly to be a trusted mediator, committed to reaching a negotiated peace, all parties to the conflict must be treated in the same way.
As the IFP, we echo the call of the United Nations – for both sides to declare an immediate ceasefire, and to return to the negotiating table. The nations of the world must stand together to condemn all violence against civilians, regardless of the circumstances.
The international community, including the United Nations, must facilitate and support these negotiations, ensuring that they are fair, inclusive, and conducted in good faith.
Speaker, the IFP remains committed to a Two-State solution whereby both nations can peacefully co-exist. Achieving this solution will require both sides to make concessions for the greater good.
Let us be part of the solution, not contribute to the problem.
In closing, Honourable Speaker, security is a fundamental concern for both Israelis and Palestinians.
By advocating for an immediate cessation of hostilities, condemning violence, and pushing for a Two-State Solution, we are also advocating for the safety and security of all those living in the region.
I thank you.