Our comment on Minister Pandor's speech at UNSC yesterday.

We note that in her address to the UN Security Council, Naledi Pandor for the first-time expressed sympathy for the Israeli victims alongside the victims in Gaza. She also condemned the Hamas atrocities against Israeli civilians resulting in 1400 deaths on 7 October. The SAJBD expresses its deepest sympathy for all the innocents who are suffering and those that have lost their lives.

We also acknowledge the Minister’s reiteration of our government’s support for a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side with secure borders. It is this solution that Hamas has consistently sought to prevent coming about. We however unequivocally, reject her falsely describing Gaza as “occupied” by Israel.

Today is day 18 that 221 Israeli hostages remain captive in Gaza. Among them are children, babies, women, elderly people including a Holocaust survivor and a woman with Alzheimer’s. Global leaders need to work towards the urgent and immediate release of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

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