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The South Africa-Hamas-Iran Axis

The South Africa-Hamas-Iran Axis
By Robert Williams

Originally Published by the Gatestone Institute.

Sometime after October 2015, Hamas, following a high-level meeting between South Africa’s governing party ANC and Hamas leaders, opened an office in South Africa.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said at the time that Hamas was going to “learn a lot” from the South African government.

“We are discussing whether Hamas should not open up offices in South Africa so that we can talk,” Mantashe said, adding that the opening of the office was partly to “improve communication” between the ANC and Hamas…. It requires stepping out of our solidarity and stepping up the struggle of Palestine itself.”

South Africa “stepped up the struggle” for Hamas recently when it took upon itself to wage lawfare on behalf of Hamas and accuse Israel of “committing genocide” at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). According to NGO Monitor, South Africa’s case at the ICJ is built on reports from groups with links to terrorist organizations.

Naftali Balanson of NGO Monitor wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

“South Africa’s submission to the court contains no fewer than 45 references to NGO publications, including several from outfits linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization. Staff and board members of these PFLP-linked groups were part of the South African delegation to public hearings in mid-January and helped prepare South Africa’s case.

“Among the references in South Africa’s court petition is a report titled ‘Israel Apartheid. Tool of Zionist settler colonialism’ from al-Haq, a Palestinian NGO that Israel designated a ‘terror organization’ in 2021. According to Israel, al-Haq is part of a network that operates on behalf of the PFLP…

Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin was part of South Africa’s delegation to the ICJ… On Oct. 10, Ziad Hmaidan, head of al-Haq’s training and capacity-building unit, celebrated the Hamas attacks, writing on Facebook: ‘It is written in the Hadith: ‘You must wage jihad. The best jihad is preparing for war, and it is best to prepare for war in Ashkelon,’ an Israeli city.”

South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor spoke to the leader of Hamas just 10 days after the Iranian terrorist proxy group launched its massacre on Israel to assert “South Africa’s solidarity and support” and to express “sadness and regret for the loss of innocent lives on both sides.” In the past, Pandor has called for Israel to be designated “an apartheid state.”

In December, a Hamas delegation, led by Basem Naim, a leader in Hamas’s political office, visited South Africa. The delegation included Hamas’ representative in Iran, Khaled Al-Qaddumi, and paid visits to the South African Parliament, met with ANC politicians and Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela.

“The South African government is the same thing as Hamas. It’s an Iranian proxy, and its role in the war is to fight the ideological and ideas war to stigmatize Jews around the world,” said Dr. Frans Cronje, former CEO of the South African Institute of Race Relations.

Iran called for Israel to be prosecuted at the ICJ and South Africa promptly delivered, directly serving Iranian interests with its genocide case against Israel.

“The usurping Zionist government must be taken to court. In the context of Palestine, the entire world is witnessing the crime of genocide being committed by the usurping regime. The usurping Zionist regime must be prosecuted for it today…” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said on October 17, just 10 days after the October 7 massacre.

A few days later, on October 22, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a joint press conference in Tehran with his South African counterpart, in which he said that the two had “held important discussions about the bilateral relations and several international issues,” and that the two countries “have joint positions and views on international matters.”

“[South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and I] also discussed the ongoing war crimes of the [Israeli] regime. We are thankful for the strong positions of the people and government of South Africa in their support of Palestine and the fight against the [Israel’s] apartheid. A South African delegation will visit Tehran next week. In addition, President Raisi will visit South Africa and the latest agreements will be signed by the relevant elements in the presence of the presidents of both [countries].”

Pandor practically admitted that South Africa is working with Iran against Israel:

“South Africa has constantly declared its support for Palestine. Nobody should suffer injustice. We must do more to support the Palestinian people… Countries should act more decisively. We are eager to achieve these goals with Iran; this is a joint objective of Iran and South Africa.”

Aside from Chad, South Africa is the only African country to have recalled its ambassador and diplomatic mission to Israel. South African lawmakers voted in favor of severing ties completely. The South African parliament also voted in favor of closing down the Israeli embassy in South Africa, with Israel calling home its ambassador for consultations in November.

While the ICJ refused to throw out the case against Israel and is likely to spend the next many years deliberating on Israel’s purported and imaginary “genocide,” John Spencer, who is both chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point and a retired US military officer, argued that Israel minimizes civilian casualties more than any military in history, and listed numerous examples of the lengths that the IDF goes to in order to protect civilians, such as warnings before launching military strikes.

Spencer wrote in Newsweek:

“Israel has taken more measures to avoid needless civilian harm than virtually any other nation that’s fought an urban war. In fact, as someone who has served two tours in Iraq and studied urban warfare for over a decade, Israel has taken precautionary measures even the United States did not do during its recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

“No military in modern history has faced over 30,000 urban defenders in more than seven cities using human shields and hiding in hundreds of miles of underground networks purposely built under civilian sites, while holding hundreds of hostages… The sole reason for civilian deaths in Gaza is Hamas. For Israel’s part, it’s taken more care to prevent them than any other army in human history.”

Action is reportedly being taken to bring Iran before the International Court of Justice on charges of Genocide. The move is long overdue.

Robert Williams is a researcher based in the United States.

Original Article

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