The South African ambassador to Palestine visited Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza on Tuesday. His Excellency Professor M. W. Makalima congratulated Mr. Haniyeh on the Palestinians’ victory in the face of Israel’s November offensive against the Gaza Strip, as well as UN recognition of Palestine as an observer state.
The Prime Minister thanked the ambassador for his visit and for Pretoria’s positive stand on the Palestinian issue, including the several humanitarian delegations from South Africa which have taken much-needed medicines and other supplies into Gaza over the past 3 years.
Mr. Haniyeh and his guest discussed Israeli aggression against Palestine and Palestinians, including Israeli settlements and Judaisation policies in the occupied territories. They also spoke about the issue of the prisoners in Israeli jails and stressed the importance of a role for South Africa in solving this issue.
Expressing his pleasure at being able to visit Gaza, Prof. Makalima said that he now considers himself to have fulfilled one of his life’s ambitions by making the trip. He re-affirmed South Africa’s strong support for the Palestinian cause. The ambassador condemned Israeli aggression and denounced the settlement programme. South Africa, he insisted, will continue to help Palestinians until they regain all of their rights.