Sameera Casmod | firstname.lastname@example.org
04 December 2023 | 14:10 CAT
The Fifth Global Convention of Solidarity with Palestine in Johannesburg commenced on Sunday, 3 December 2023. The conference will last for three days.
A Hamas delegation, which included Dr Bassem Naim, Khaled Qaddoumi and Emad Saber arrived in South Africa for the convention. Moulana Ebrahim Moosa spoke to Dr Naim and Brother Qaddoumi.
The discussion traced the history of Hamas, from its origins in 1987 and the leadership of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin to its current position in the global arena. Dr Naim underscored the group’s unwavering commitment to resisting Israeli occupation and defending Palestinian rights. He emphasised that despite facing numerous challenges, Hamas has emerged stronger and more representative of the Palestinian people than ever before. What started as a resistance group armed with stones against Israeli tanks and armed soldiers has evolved, with the help of Allah, to become a better equipped movement of hope for Palestinians.
The conversation touched on the significance of October 7th, 2023. Qaddoumi described it as a pivotal moment in Palestinian history and as a defensive reaction to Israeli atrocities and a testament to the people’s resilience. He explained that the 7th of October was simply a response to Israel’s continuous siege, attacks, imprisonment, fear of safety and terror on Palestinian people. He explained how the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, or Tufan Al-Aqsa, surprised the enemy and demonstrated the unity of the Palestinian cause, encompassing not just Gaza but the entire Ummah.
The current state of the battle and the challenges faced by Palestinians was also discussed. Both leaders acknowledged the immense suffering inflicted upon Gaza by Israel’s relentless bombardment and siege. They spoke of over 20 000 martyrs, including countless children and women, and the dire humanitarian crisis unfolding with limited access to food, water, and medical care. They praised the bravery, courage and determination of the resistance fighters who are “everyday inflicting new losses on the enemy” (Dr Naim).
They also acknowledged the need for urgent humanitarian aid and support for the survivors of the war.
“And when they returned back in the ceasefire, they found these babies died because of lacking of oxygen. The Ummah was not able to give them some oxygen. It is sometimes really disappointing. We are not calling anyone to bring armies or to come to fight. We are, our men are so strong and brave and ready to sacrifice at least to support our back by supporting our men and women and children,” Dr Naim said.
Moulana Moosa discussed Hamas’s relationship with the Sunni world and its stance on receiving aid from various sources. Dr Naim clarified that Hamas prioritises uniting Muslims against the common enemy, Israel, and avoids interfering in internal conflicts. Dr Naim cited the existence of the Zionist regime as a root cause of evil and discord among Muslims.
He emphasised their openness to receiving unconditional support from any nation willing to help, including Egypt, Qatar, South Africa, Iran, Russia, and China, while rejecting attempts to leverage aid for political gain.
“I think the question should be, is not why Iran is helping Hamas. The question is, where is the Ummah? Why is the Ummah sleeping and so reluctant to proceed to help? This is not the battle for Palestine. It is not about Gaza. It is not about Hamas. Even if it is not about Palestine, it is about the Ummah. This is a confrontation between the Ummah and the Western countries. We have seen during this battle, all the Western countries came to support and help Israel. By all means, politically and financially and media, they brought all these big ships. Where is the Ummah?” Dr Naim asked.
The discussion covered Israeli propaganda tactics and the fabricated narratives surrounding October 7th. Qaddoumi condemned Israel’s multi-dimensional warfare, including its use of lies and propaganda. He specifically addressed the false claims about mass beheadings and rapes, demanding an independent investigation to expose these fabrications. He warned against allowing these fabricated stories to dominate the discourse and overshadow the truth of Palestinian suffering.
Moulana Moosa asked the delegates to outline ways that South African Muslims can give aid. Brother Qaddoumi acknowledged the efforts of South Africans in supporting the Palestinian cause and emphasised the need for continued action. The South African community is urged to exert pressure to open the Rafah border so that essential humanitarian supplies can cross into Gaza.
Listen to the full interview with Moulana Ebrahim Moosa.