Minister Naledi Pandor did not pledge her support to the terrorist group Hamas. This is what the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) says after allegations about this have been circulating since Monday.
The minister did give Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas, a ring.
Dirco stated unequivocally on Tuesday that Pandor had received a request to call Haniyeh about how South Africa could send humanitarian aid to Palestine.
“During the call, and in accordance with the government’s position, Minister Pandor reiterated South Africa’s solidarity and support for the people of Palestine. She also expressed her sadness and regret over the loss of innocent lives, those of Palestinians as well as Israelis,” says Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela.
“Minister Pandor’s call to the leader of Hamas is in line with South Africa’s readiness to involve all interlocutors as part of facilitating dialogue to end the ongoing conflict.”
Vincent Magwenya, spokesman for the presidency, was also quick on Tuesday to respond to the damning allegations that South Africa supports Hamas.
“Reports about the South African government providing support to Hamas are false. We do not have a bilateral relationship with Hamas. We have bilateral ties with the Palestinian Authority. Support for the Palestinian struggle against occupation does not equal support for Hamas,” Magwenya made it clear.
By this time it is no secret that pres. Cyril Ramaphosa and his government in solidarity with the people of Palestine are not.
The international media agency Reuters has meanwhile called on Israel to launch a quick and comprehensive investigation into a fire that claimed the life of one of its journalists last week. Reporters in Lebanon were also wounded.
Video journalist Issam Abdallah was killed and six other journalists injured – including two from AFP – when militants attacked the town of Alma al-Shaab in southern Lebanon on Friday.
The journalists believe they were hit by fire coming from the Israeli side of the border.
“I repeat my call to the Israeli authorities, who have said they are investigating, to conduct a swift, thorough and transparent investigation into what happened,” Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni said in a video posted on X is.
Israel’s military announced on Saturday that it would investigate the circumstances of Abdallah’s death. However, the Israeli army has not accepted any responsibility.
The Lebanese army, for its part, said Abdallah’s death was caused by a rocket fired by Israel. Lebanon’s foreign ministry also blamed Israel and described the attack as a “deliberate murder”.