Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks during the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on February 5, 2022. AFP


Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh calls on the African Union to revoke Israel’s Observer Status granted by the organization.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh made the call while speaking at the AU Summit in Addis Ababa on Saturday, as Heads of States of the 55-member bloc gathered for a two-day summit.

“The decision to grant Israel an observer status is a reward that [Tel Aviv] does not deserve, and we call for this decision to be withdrawn,” Prime Minister Mohamed Shtayyeh said.

He further said Israel does not deserve the observer status “for its racist treatment of the Palestinians.”

Israel’s Observe Status at the AU became official after the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that its ambassador to Ethiopia, Admasu Al-Ali, had submitted his credentials as an observer member to the AU in July 22, 2021, and was unilaterally accepted by the Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, after almost two decades of efforts to attain the status.

The decision had prompted backlash from some member states of the African bloc, particularly Algeria and South Africa who noted that they had not been consulted about the move.

The African Union has however suspended the planned debate on Israel’s membership.

Isreal had previously held observer status at the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) but was long thwarted in its attempts to get it back after the OAU was disbanded in 2002 and replaced by the AU.

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