Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have had the opportunity to offer their condolences to the people of South Africa following the death of late President Nelson Mandela. The Office of the South African representative in Gaza and the House of Wisdom jointly opened a condolence house for the Palestinian people to pay tribute to the man who was a strong supporter of their cause.
Many Palestinian officials joined crowds of people eager to express their feelings after the death of the international freedom fighter. "All free people around the world should follow the path taken by Mandela," said Mohamed Awad on behalf of the prime minister of the Gaza government.
The deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Dr Ahmed Bahar, added his thoughts: "Nelson Mandela was a symbol of freedom and one of its greatest champions." He noted the suffering of Palestinians in Israeli jails and compared their situation with that of the great South African under the apartheid regime.
Pointing out that President Mandela had supported the Palestinian cause "since its beginning" Fatah representative Faisal Abu-Shahla described him as "an icon who rejected apartheid and occupation." He added that Mandela's experience gives great hope to the Palestinians in their battle against the Israeli occupation and the struggle to win their own freedom.
MEMO Photographer : Mohammed Asad