Condemnation of the Israeli Government’s sponsored killing of a three-year-old Palestinian child

Media Statement


09 June 2023


Condemnation of the Israeli Government’s sponsored killing of a three-year-old Palestinian child


South Africa joins the international community in strongly condemning the killing of a three-year-old Palestinian toddler, Muhammad Tamimi.


The continuous acts of aggression by the Israeli defence force since the start of 2023, have resulted in the killing of at least 156 defenceless Palestinians across Israel, the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The civilian population including more than 20 children have been the casualties of the brutal acts of aggression sponsored by the Israeli Government.


The three-year-old Mohammed is the latest victim of spiralling bloodshed under the illegal and unjust Israeli continuous occupation of Palestine that has prompted fears of a return to full-scale fighting.


Israeli occupation force’s action should be seen as criminal and a violation of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 6, which stipulate that:


(i) States Parties recognise that every child has the inherent right to life; (ii) States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.


The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is unambiguous on its articulation that every child should be recognised, respected, and protected as a rights holder and as a unique and valuable human being.


Israel’s acts of aggression aggravate the already tense situation and its impunity encourages it to openly demonstrate that it has no intention to negotiate a two-state solution on bona fide terms. It further encourages the continuous occupation of Palestine and the Israeli army persecutions, massacres, raids, and other violations of human rights go against international law.


Sadly, Israel’s callous and unjust killing of Muhammad Tamimi took place a day after the Child Protection Week in South Africa. It is commemorated in the country annually to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005). Child Protection Week in South Africa serves as a platform to raise awareness about the rights, needs, and vulnerabilities of children. It is an opportunity to educate individuals, families, communities, and institutions about the crucial role they play in safeguarding children’s well-being. This year’s theme is ‘Let us Protect Children during COVID-19 and Beyond’.


South Africa remains unequivocally committed to an end to the occupation of Palestine and calls for concrete action concerning ending the Apartheid system in Israel and Palestine. South Africa values efforts aimed at reviving a political process, leading to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel within internationally recognised borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in compliance with all relevant UN Resolutions, international law and internationally agreed parameters.




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