Palestinian ambassador visits Durban, talks of bolstering trade between SA and Palestine

A Durban business group will join a SA trade delegation to Palestine in May to investigate ways to boost trade between the Occupied territory and South Africa, writes Nabeelah Shaikh.

Trade and investment opportunities between KwaZulu-Natal and Palestine were high on the agenda when Palestinian ambassador to South Africa, Hanan Jarrar, visited the province recently.

Her official visit entailed meeting with the political, religious, humanitarian and business sectors.

Jarrar also held important discussions with KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala, over some of the latest developments in Palestine.

Her visit to the province was in line with the launching of Israeli Apartheid Week, also to coincide with March being human rights month in South Africa.

“Israeli Apartheid Week is a tool for mobilizing grassroots support on a global level for the Palestinian struggle for peace, justice, equality and dignity. It is a mechanism to raise awareness about Israeli apartheid and to mobilise support for strategic campaigns to help bring an end to this system of oppression and aggression,” said Jarrar.

Under the theme, United Against Racism, IAW links up the Palestinian anti-apartheid struggle with all those fighting racism, oppression and discrimination across the globe.

Jarrar also held engagements with Durban mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda to discuss the reactivation of the twinning agreement between the Palestinian city of Hebron and the city of Durban which was signed in 2019.

“Our dialogue centered around reactivating the twinning agreement under the modes of collaboration and partnership such as technical assistance involved in sharing of experiences and peer learning, redeveloping partnerships through project financing, economic partnerships that will foster trade, investment, and supply chain links. As well as integrated service delivery that will see cross-city interoperability,” said Jarrar.

Ambassador Jarrar also met with the leadership of the South African Communist Party in the province. The meeting focused on ways and methods to disseminate the Palestinian narrative.

She held engagements with the business community during a meeting with the Minara Chamber of Commerce. The gathering centered on reinforcing trade between South Africa and Palestine. A resolution from the discussions, in line with launching the Israel Apartheid

Week will see Durban businesses join a delegation that will be heading to Palestine in May.

Jarrar also met with faith leaders, academics and students on collaboration strategies between KZN and Palestine, sharing peace, justice, interfaith, as well as the plight of Palestinians in the context of religion.

“Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank, and Israel are at risk of disappearing in the face of systematic attempts to drive them out of the Old City and other parts of the Holy Land. This systematic effort to push the Christian community out needs to be framed within the broader Israeli policy of dispossession towards the Palestinian people in general,” said Jarrar.

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