The ANC’s cordial reception of a senior delegation of the Palestinian organisation Hamas is reckless and will greatly damage South Africa’s trade relations with Israel, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on the Economy said.
Adv. Alberts says it is well known that Hamas is viewed as a terrorist organisation which advocates the destruction of Israel while Israel itself is searching for solutions such as the possible two-state option.
The delegation was received at the highest level by President Jacob Zuma and senior ANC officials.
According to today’s edition of The Times of Israel the visit to the government had sent shock-waves through Israel and it was strongly criticised by the Israeli government and Jewish groups in South Africa.
The report mentions that an Israeli government spokesperson, Emmanuel Nahshon, had said that the ANC government is showing its approval of terrorism through its actions. At the same time it is a slap in the face of the larger international community, which views Hamas as a terrorist organisation.
According to Adv. Alberts, the ANC’s action is a disgrace that will only further tarnish South Africa’s esteem in the international community. The fact that the government so openly sides with Hamas, will also result in its role as mediator in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians being undermined.
“It is well known that Israel is eager to cooperate with South Africa, especially in the area of technology and with the exchange of knowledge and development. This reckless action of the ANC will hamper this,” Adv. Alberts says.
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