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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: South Africa
21 August 2006

South Africa condemns the arrest of the Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister

Pretoria -
The South African Government is concerned by the developments in Gaza where the Deputy Prime Minister of Palestine, Nasser Shaer, and the Secretary General of the Palestinian Legislative Council Dr Al Ramahi was arrested by the Israeli military.

The South African Government condemns such arbitrary actions of arresting leaders of a democratically elected government, which could only heighten emotions and lead to an escalation of violence in the occupied territories. The current cycle of violence would only bring hardships to innocent civilians and the destruction of infrastructure.

The South African Government has consistently expressed its commitment to finding a just, comprehensive and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli Government is therefore reminded of its responsibility to secure and maintain peace in the region and is urged to release all the Palestinian leaders in its prisons.

The South African Government believes that the current level of violence could only be reduced and finally eliminated once the Israelis and Palestinians resume meaningful talks leading to negotiations aimed at resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

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