Palestine (The State of)

History of Relations | Diplomatic Representation | Travel Info | Health Requirements | Climate Info | Currency Info | Trade Info | Visits and Meetings | Agreements | Interest Groups/ Organisations

History of Relations

The establishment of full diplomatic relations with the State of Palestine was announced on 15 February 1995. The first South African Representative to the Palestinian National Authority took up office in August 1995. The first Palestinian Ambassador to South Africa was accredited in April 1995.

The formalisation of diplomatic relations gave expression to strong and long-standing ties of friendship and mutual support between the peoples of South Africa and Palestine.

South Africa’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Alfred B Nzo, paid an official visit to Palestine in September 1995 and signed an agreement on the establishment of a Joint Commission of Co-operation.

President Yasser Arafat paid a State Visit to South Africa in August 1998. He also paid working visits to South Africa on 12 April 1999, on 3 August 2000 and from 2 to 3 May 2001, the last in the context of the Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Committee on Palestine.

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in Palestine

H E Mr S E Byneveldt

South African Representative to the Palestinian National Authority

State of Palestine Representation in South Africa

H E Ms S Hanan N. A. Qarout
Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary

Embassy of the State of Palestine

Travel Info

Visa Requirements for South Africans

No visas required. All travel to the Palestinian Territories is controlled by Israel. Normally, travellers who have been allowed to enter Israel may visit the Palestinian Territories without complying with further requirements. See Israel for entry requirements in respect of that country..

Health Requirements

Immunisation against tetanus is recommended for travel to rural areas.

For further information go to Travelers' Health.

Climate Info

Winters are cool and rainy. Summers (Jun-Oct) can be very hot.

For up-to-date weather information click here.


The monetary unit used is the New Israeli Shekel and the Jordanian Dinar (JD), the latter mainly in the West Bank.

For current exchange rates click here.

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

The current President of the State of Palestine, Mr Mahmoud Abbas, has visited South Africa on three occasions: he undertook a State Visit to South Africa in November 2014, attended the Africa (AU) Union Summit in June 2015, in Johannesburg and visited South Africa at the invitation of President Zuma in May 2016. This was a milestone development in the bilateral relations between South Africa and Palestine. President Mahmoud Abbas assigned Dr Ahmed Majdalani, Minister of Social Development to represent him at the presidential inauguration in South Africa, 25 May 2019. Dr Majdalani also delivered a special message to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Minister of Culture of the State of Palestine, Mr Siham Mohammad Abdel Salam Barghouty, accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Culture, Mr Musa Abugharbieh, visited South Africa during February 2012, on which occasion an agreement on cooperation in the field of Arts and Culture was signed with Minister Mashatile. In March 2012, the South African Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs visited Palestine.

The Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ms Rula Ma’ayah, visited South Africa during September 2018, on the occasion of signing the Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism. The Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology, Dr Allam Mousa, visited South Africa during September 2018 to attend the World Telecommunications Union Conference.

The current bilateral relations between Palestine and South Africa are facilitated through a Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC), established in 1999.

There is an outstanding Presidential visit to Palestine as well as the Senior Officials Meeting aimed at facilitating the convening of the JCC.

Bilateral Agreements

If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact the Treaty Section of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at 012 351 1000.

Trade Info

For current information on trade statistics between South Africa and Palestine, visit the website of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition of South Africa.

Interest Groups and Information

No Information


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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa