International advocacy bodies urge African Union to withdraw Israel’s observer status

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International advocacy bodies urge African Union to withdraw Israel’s observer status

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

People walk through the main lobby at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 18, 2013. (File by Getty Images)

At least three international advocacy organizations have called on the African Union (AU) to withdraw the Israeli regime’s observer status over its human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

The US-based Democracy for Arab World Now (DAWN) together with the Legal Resource Center (LRC) in South Africa on Monday signed and supported a legal submission to the executive council of the AU, which was drafted by the International Center of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP).

The submission vehemently argues why the 55-member union should not have granted the regime in Tel Aviv an observer status, and why it should be immediately revoked.

On July 22, Israel announced that it had joined the influential pan-African body, which debates continental issues, as an “observer state,” after unsuccessful lobbying for nearly 20 years.

The news elicited lukewarm response from some member countries of the union, who had for years blocked the move, citing the regime’s horrendous war crimes in Palestine.

For almost two decades, since the disbandment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 2002, Israel had made futile attempts to join the African Union, which replaced the OAU.

However, the move was always thwarted by members of the union, who even called for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories in February.

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