10-22-2015, 12:04 PM
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S.Africa's ANC hosts Hamas rally despite Israel protest
S.Africa's ANC hosts Hamas rally despite Israel protest | South-african News | Expatica South Africa
South Africa's ruling party hosted a rally in Cape Town for a top Hamas leader on Wednesday, capping off a controversial visit by pledging to stand by Palestinians amid growing violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
The African National Congress (ANC) invited exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and colleagues from the Islamist militant group on a three-day visit to South Africa, sparking strong criticism from Israel.
President Jacob Zuma exchanged gifts with Meshaal on Monday and signed a letter expressing support for Palestinians.
"It is state-sponsored crime from the people of Israel on Palestine," said Marius Fransman, a provincial ANC chairman, drawing cheers from the crowd in Cape Town.
"People close their eyes, we are taking a stand. We have to reaffirm the message of the unity of the oppressed masses."
Hamas supporters lined the streets near the venue, waving the organisation's white-and-green flag.
Addressing the rally, Meshaal compared the Palestinian cause to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.
"South Africa, you have achieved your freedom, the people of Palestine are aspiring to attain their freedom," he said.