South Africa hopes Gaza truce bolsters efforts to end conflict

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday welcomed an agreement for a four-day truce in Gaza and said he hoped the deal between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas would bolster efforts to achieve an outright end to their conflict.

Ramaphosa has been one of the most prominent voices on the African continent on the brutal war between Israel and Hamas that has raged for about seven weeks.

South Africa’s strong support for Palestinians dates back to former President Nelson Mandela’s days, with the country likening their plight to its own before the end of apartheid in 1994. Israel rejects the comparison.

“It is my hope that the achievement of this pause will strengthen efforts to achieve an outright end to the current conflict,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.

He said there needed to be a durable political resolution in the Middle East.

(Reporting by Anait Miridzhanian; Editing by Alexander Winning and Mark Porter)