A five million Rand South African humanitarian mission to assist the civilian population of Palestine has been obstructed by the Israeli Government. In spite of having been given prior notice on 03 May 2002 and having supplied ALL the relevant documentation as per Israeli protocol, the goal posts have shifted continuously.
The entire negotiation with the Israeli Government has been carried out by the South African Department of Foreign Affairs through their mission in Ramallah and Tel Aviv and through the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria to no avail. The Israeli Deputy Director General of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli Ambassador to South Africa were reminded of the intended mission once again on Friday, 07 June 2002, by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Aziz Pahad, who will lead the delegation to Palestine via Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on a special hired cargo flight. In spite of sending out additional staff from the Department of Foreign Affairs to Israel to conduct negotiations with the Israeli Government, they were given the run around having been promised that the clearance will be issued on 27 May, then 29 May, then 30 May then 02 June, now 09 June and we are still waiting. Mr. Aziz Pahad has altered his diary 4 times already to enable him to lead this humanitarian delegation to Palestine.
The humanitarian mission has been funded by the Gift of the Givers Foundation and includes state of the art equipment for a theatre and intensive care unit, ultrasound, general medical equipment, medicines, intravenous fluids, sutures, water purification tablets etc.