By Addis Getachew and Abebech Tamene
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Fatah -- the leading faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) -- has launched an Africa-wide effort to prevent a proposed Africa-Israel summit, a senior party official told Anadolu Agency Wednesday.
The move comes as the United Nations' General Assembly continues in New York.
Uri Davis, a renowned human rights defender of the Palestinian people and a member of the Fatah movement, told Anadolu Agency that Africa should boycott the summit -- tipped to be held soon in Togo in West Africa -- “with an apartheid regime”.
“My mandate is to address the ruling party [in African countries] urging them to press their respective governments to boycott that particular Togo initiative, and I begin my visit and my tour and I am very fortunate to have begun my visit with Ethiopia,” Davis said.
The Fatah official will visit 10 African countries, including South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Senegal where he will deliver a letter from Fatah to ruling parties of respective states.
“Israel remains the only apartheid state that is a member state in the United Nations,” Davis, who was born to Jewish parents but “detached from Zionist learning” said.
He said the regime in Israel qualifies it to be named as an apartheid regime because “apartheid is regulating racism through act of parliament”.
“The practice of Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rather simple to explain; there has been…a colonial invasion into Palestine resulting in the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine,” he said.
“In [apartheid] South Africa 87 percent of the territory was dedicated in law for whites only. In Israel -- without occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip -- 93 percent is dedicated in law for Jews only.”
Davis said he was also on a mission to prevent Israel from having an observer status within the African Union.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his country’s desire to gain observer status in the AU during his July 2016 four-nation tour of Africa. But it was met with stiff resistance. Morocco has also been lobbying African nations to boycott the summit.
Palestine has an observer status with the AU -- a pan African organization which has always supported the Palestinian cause for liberation and freedom.