ANC embraces leader of Hamas
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Johannesburg - The ANC plans to lobby other “progressive” countries and political organisations to increase their support for the people of Palestine in their struggle against Israel.
The party reaffirmed its support for Palestine on Monday as it established relations with Hamas, whose leader-ship is in South Africa to strengthen ties with the ANC and its allies.
According to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, the party-to-party relations established with Hamas were in line with the ANC’s resolutions which reaffirm the party’s support for Palestine.
Both parties signed a letter of intent, and the ANC has vowed to lobby the government to sustain its support for the people of Palestine.
“For example, there is the issue of the infrastructure that has been destroyed throughout the war, there will need to be assistance in that regard.
“We have agreed to share experiences, as we have experience fighting an apartheid state just as the people of Palestine are now seeking their independence from apartheid Israel,” Mantashe said.
He added that there were also discussions about Hamas possibly opening an office in South Africa, from where it could actively engage and co-ordinate with those supporting its cause.
The chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, Khalid Mish’al, said the Hamas delegation expected to learn from the ANC and South Africa’s experience of facing the brutality of an apartheid state.
“We are pleased to be here and we expect to learn from the experience of the ANC and South Africa.
“We want to call on the international community to work together to boycott and isolate the apartheid state of Israel,” Mish’al said.
The “brutality of the apartheid state of Israel” was creating a time-bomb for everybody, as the conflict was not good for world peace, he added.
The Hamas delegation, which arrived in South Africa on Sunday, was last night expected to meet leaders of the ANC’s alliance partners, the SA Communist Party and Cosatu.
They were also expected to meet with the SA Council of Churches, among other organisations.