Status on the Relations between South Africa and Hamas

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR WRITTEN REPLY

QUESTION NO: PQ 1095. N1552E

MR A J LEON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

(1) What relations does South Africa have with Hamas.

REPLY:

(1) The South African Government despatched an observer team to the Palestinian Legislative elections in March 2006.  The team observed the democratic election of the Islamic resistance Movement (Hamas) to majority party in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).  The team reported that the elections were free and fair.

The South African Government continues to engage with Hamas leaders but within the context of advancing Palestinian unity and negotiations aimed at the establishment of a viable Palestinian State, existing side by side in peace with Israel within internationally recognised borders.

The South African Government did, however, strongly condemn the violent take over of the Gaza Strip by military factions within Hamas.  The Government also declared its support for the emergency measures, taken by the President of the Palestinian National Authority, in the aftermath of the events in Gaza.

The South African Government continues to call on the leaders of both the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) and Hamas to ensure that the current political and physical division of Palestine is resolved a soon as possible.  The Government has made it clear that the present situation only benefits those forces that are bent on seeing the ideal of a peaceful and prosperous Israel and Palestine existing side by side, fail.


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