RAMALLAH, April 27, 2016 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah congratulated the people of South Africa during an event hosted by South Africa‘s representative to Palestine, Ambassador Ashraf Suleiman, in celebration of Freedom Day.
"Today, we honor Nelson Mandela and share the joy of our sisters and brothers in South Africa. Your victory against oppression and persecution is inspiring; we draw on your perseverance and steadfastness," Hamdallah said, as a statue of Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected South African president, was unveiled in Ramallah on Tuesday afternoon.
Jamal Dajani, Director of Strategic Communications and Media at the Office of the Prime Minister, said: "It is appalling that at a time when the entire world celebrates the end of Apartheid in South Africa, Palestinians still suffer from similar oppressive measures under a brutal Israeli occupation,"
"Just as in South Africa, Israel has institutionalized a system designed to suppress an entire population, based on ethnicity," Dajani added.
"We see the statue as a symbol of friendship, as a symbol of demonstrating our solidarity, but also hopefully as an inspiration to the people of Palestine that you indeed would be able to achieve your freedom," said Johannesburg mayor Parks Tau, who was leading a South African delegation that will be present during the historic moment.
Mandela is a symbol of freedom from colonialism and occupation for many Palestinians.
"We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians," Mandela famously said in a speech for International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Pretoria in 1997.