Friday, 24 April 2015

Israel denies entry visas to South African minister, leftist leader and officials

The South African Communist Party (SACP) issued a statement strongly condemning the Israeli decision to deny entry visas to South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training, South African Communist Party Secretary General, Cde Blade Nzmande, along with his team of officials.

“The South African Communist Party (SACP) is appalled by, and condemns in strongest terms possible, the apartheid Israeli regime's decision to deny our Minister of Higher Education and Training and SACP General Secretary Cde Blade Nzmande and his team of officials with an entry visa into Palestine, “the SACP said in a statement.

The SACP stated that Nzmande was officially invited by his Palestinian counterpart, Dr. Khawla Shakhsheer, to visit Palestine from 25-29 April 2015.

The South African Department of Higher Education and Training, said the visit follows a visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2014, in which an agreement between South Africa and Palestine was singed.

The “justification” Israel provided for denied visas was because the South African Minister “criticized the Israeli government.”

“The SCAP said it will not allow any foreign government to decide for us what to think, say and do,” the SCAP said, “South Africans should take their cue and defend our inalienable right to freedom of speech and international solidarity with the oppressed people in any part of the world.”

In its statement, the SCAP said it will intensify its Boycott, Divestment and Sanction against Israel until it full withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories, and until the Palestinians have their own independent and sovereign state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. more

Israeli tanks shell northern Gaza following rocket fire

Israeli tanks fired three shells at the northern Gaza Strip late Thursday after a rocket was fired from the coastal territory, witnesses and Israel's army said.

The artillery fire struck a site belonging to Hamas' military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, east of Beit Hanoun, locals told Ma'an.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said no injuries were reported.

Israel's military said in a statement that it targeted a "terrorist" site in response to a rocket fired at southern Israel which landed in an open area in the Shaar Ha Negev regional council.

No militant group in Gaza has claimed responsibility for the rocket. more