Last week top leaders from Hamas, Palestine’s Islamic liberation movement, made an official visit to South Africa. The delegation, led by Khaled Meshaal himself, visited the country at the invitation of the African National Congress, the ruling party.
At a press conference, it was explained that the ANC and Hamas had signed a letter of intent aimed at fostering closer relations between the two liberation movements. The goal, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe explained, is to build “a long lasting relationship” between the two parties.
The Israeli government was unsurprisingly not happy about the invitation, and summoned the South African ambassador in Tel Aviv to protest at the conferring of legitimacy on what it claims is a “terrorist” group.
But ANC spokespeople responded that their leaders were once considered to be “terrorists” by western governments too, and that it regarded Hamas’ struggle against Israeli occupation to be a legitimate one.
Read the rest over at MEMO.