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President Abbas bestows grand order on Naledi Pandor

by Salaamedia Intern

Pretoria – South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, was honoured by the President of the State of Palestine with the Grand Star of the Order of Jerusalem. The honour was bestowed upon her by Palestine’s Ambassador to South Africa, Hanan Jarrar, on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas.

The Grand Star of the Order of Jerusalem is the second highest level of order awarded to the Heads of Government, Ministers, envoys and others of similar standing by the President of the State of Palestine. Speaking at the event in Freedom Park, Pretoria commemorating the 45th United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Jarrar expressed gratitude on behalf of the Palestinian people.

Abbas decided to award Pandor this honour because she completes Nelson Mandela’s march of solidarity with the justice of our cause, and her recognition of Israel as an apartheid state, said Jarrar. Jarrar also commended the minister’s diplomatic, political, intellectual and humanitarian qualities and her commitment to the values of justice, equality and peace.

During her speech Pandor reiterated South Africa’s stance on Israel’s occupation of Palestine. South Africa still believes in a two-state solution but they stand strongly behind Palestine as “it is the people of Palestine who are denied fundamental human rights”. The only way true peace can be established is when Palestinians’ rights are no longer denied to them.

Pandor also made mention of the violence currently occurring and Shireen Abu Akleh’s death. The Israeli Defence Force has killed dozens of young people and journalists over the past few months.

“We’ve seen terrible violence over in the past few months carried out by the Israeli Defence Force on young people and even on journalists. You can imagine if soldiers in South Africa shot a journalist, there would be a global uproar but in Israel you can get away with it. This is shocking. Shireen Abu Ahleh’s assassination was just one in a long string of shooting and killing that has been carried out with impunity.”

Concluding her speech Pandor stated that Israel’s security and future lies in a peaceful, stable, sovereign Palestinian state. One that has peace and security. Not a nation that is annexed and their citizens face death every single day.



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