President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government has once again taken a controversial position on a raging war with global ramifications.
This time the government has failed to outrightly condemn the action of Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which attacked Israel last weekend, killing over 1,300 people.
Over 200 Israelis have been kidnapped.
Ramaphosa himself appeared to blame the Israeli government for the terror attack on its people by suggesting the attackers were justifiably frustrated by the occupation of their land and the oppression of their people.
He cushioned his support of Hamas by saying the ruling party was standing in solidarity with the people of Palestine, even though the people of Palestine have distanced themselves from the actions of Hamas.
“As people and an organisation that has struggled against an oppressive regime of apartheid, we pledge solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
Ramaphosa said the Palestinians should be seen as “people under occupation who have been waging a struggle against an oppressive government that has occupied their land, but also a government that has in recent times been dubbed an apartheid state”.
And this week, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor confirmed she called Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, but denied the call was meant to show support for Hamas.
A statement from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said: “Minister Pandor and the Hamas leader discussed how to get the necessary humanitarian aid to Gaza and other Palestinian authorities.
“The reports that Minister Pandor also offered support for the ‘Battle of Al-Aqsa Flood’ are untrue and meant to impugn the minister and the government of South Africa.”
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is due to travel to Israel on Wednesday to show support to the government of Israel.
The US has also ordered some 2,000 troops to prepare for possible deployment to the Gaza strip.