Hamas issued the following press release:

The Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas – expresses its best wishes to the African National Congress as it prepares for its 54th National Conference. We understand that this conference, like all conferences of the party, is critically important for the ANC, and for South Africa. For Palestinians, this conference is also important in another respect: ANC delegates will be discussing a recommendation from the party’s policy conference held in July, which proposes that the South African embassy to Israel be either downgraded or completely shut down. This recommendation is the logical extension of the ANC’s support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

For the past 70 years Israel has dispossessed Palestinians of their land, deprived them of their livelihood, launched massive military campaigns against Palestinians in their residential areas and assaulted their dignity and humanity on an ongoing basis. Israel’s settlement project and Apartheid wall continue to steal Palestinian land, as explained by South Africa’s submission to the International Court of Justice in 2004. Israel has received uncritical support from the United States and the new US government, under Donald Trump, has made it clear it will continue supporting Israel’s illegal 2 and murderous actions against Palestinians. All that Israel and the US want is full Israeli control over Palestine, with Palestinians being confined to a few Bantustans, living in perpetual oppression and subjugation, while Palestinian citizens of Israel continue to be subjected to apartheid laws quite similar to the laws that Black South Africans were oppressed by prior to 1994.

It is under these conditions that Hamas has expressed its unequivocal support for the BDS campaign against Israel. And it is in this context that we welcome the discussion about downgrading South Africa’s presence in Israel that will be undertaken at the ANC’s conference. We, Palestinians and South Africans together, need to build a global coalition that will deepen the isolation of the apartheid Israeli state. The ANC’s adopting this resolution on downgrading (or shutting down) the embassy in Tel Aviv will take the struggle against Israel (and Palestinian solidarity) to a new level, and will establish South Africa at the forefront, especially in Africa, of the solidarity to liberate the Palestinian people and Palestinian land .

We have confidence that the delegates at the 54th ANC National Conference will take all this into account, and will adopt this resolution enthusiastically. The ANC has been and remains a comradely partner to the Palestinian people and to Palestinian resistance, and our interaction with ANC leadership and members assures us that they will remain friends of the Palestinian struggle.

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Palestine

Monday 4th December 2017